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Is Your Business Ready To Comply With Upcoming Changes To Wage Laws Under The FLSA?

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Is Your Business Ready To Comply With Upcoming Changes To Wage Laws Under The FLSA?

Starting December 1, 2016, employers may have to make big changes to how they pay their salaried employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Once the changes take effect, employees making less than $47,476 per year may be eligible to receive overtime pay.

The impending changes mean many companies will have to make hard choices about how they compensate their workers to ensure compliance with federal wage laws and promote continued growth for their company. Furthermore, employers have other considerations like employee moral, staffing, and staying under budget.

How do I make sure I comply with new FLSA salary laws?

The new FLSA salary wage laws will affect an estimated 4 million workers across the country. About half of them will be restauranteurs and retail employees. Thin profit margins in these types of industries may present a daunting task but with some foresight and planning, most companies should be able to maintain compliance and growth.

For starters, companies should prepare by conducting a thorough audit of their payroll and employee salaries to see which salaried employees are on the bubble. Salaried workers at or near the new threshold can be compensated with bonuses or slight pay raises to accommodate the new federal wage laws.

Salaried employees closer to the current $23,660 threshold may present more of an issue. In cases where these employees work a relatively fixed number of hours during the week, their wages may be changed to an hourly rate that keeps them around their current rate of pay when overtime hours are factored in.

In either case, employers should go beyond a simple payroll audit and further explore whether or not salaried employees meet their job descriptions required by federal wage laws to be overtime exempt. Every year, thousands of overtime pay lawsuits are filed by employees alleging they were misclassified as managers or independent contractors and defending this type of litigation can be extremely costly.

Chicago employment attorneys for employers

If your company faces a lawsuit for alleged violations of state and federal employment laws, contact us online or call 312.332.6733 to speak to one of our experienced Chicago employment attorneys. The attorneys at Goldman & Ehrlich have years of experience representing clients on both sides of the law and will work tirelessly to ensure your legal rights are exercised.

Illinois Domestic Workers Get New Labor Law Protections In 2017

Illinois will soon become the seventh state in the U.S. to adopt laws extending special protections to domestic workers like nannies, housekeepers, and home care givers. Gov. Bruce Rauner recently signed the Illinois Domestic Workers Bill of Rights which will take effect on January 1st, 2017 and amend four different state labor laws directed at domestic workers.

The bill’s passage is a much needed move for hardworking people across the state who spend almost their whole week tending to the needs of others, often times for little pay and few legal protections from abuse. Historically, domestic worker abuse has been directed towards immigrant women, keeping them in a state of indentured servitude.

Changes to domestic worker labor laws

One of the most important parts of the law is the inclusion of domestic workers in the Illinois’ Minimum Wage Law, which means domestic workers must now be paid at least $8.25 per hour and are eligible for overtime pay. Until now, Illinois’ labor laws excluded domestic workers from these kinds of wage laws.

Additionally, Illinois domestic workers are now subject to the One Day Rest in Seven Act. This law extends workers a 20-minute meal break for each seven and a half hour work day and at least one day off during the week.

Furthermore, individuals employed as domestic workers are now protected from sexual harassment by the Illinois Human Rights Act. Employers are also barred from paying women and minors “an oppressive and unreasonable wage” under the Wages of Women and Minors Act thanks to the passage of the new law.

Who is covered by the new Illinois domestic workers law?

Workers in several professions will now be granted extended labor and wage protections under the Illinois Domestic Workers Bill of Rights. About 35,000 people employed as domestic workers in Illinois will be covered by the new law.

Types of worker who will see new protections include individuals doing domestic jobs for at least 8 hours per week, live-in workers, and domestic workers hired by an agency or directly with private citizens.

Illinois employment lawyers

While domestic workers already enjoy certain protections under Illinois’ labor laws, the new Domestic Workers Bill of Rights should go along way to helping ordinary people trying to earn a living. If you believe you are suffering from discrimination, sexual harassment, or violation of other state labor laws, contact or call the Illinois employment lawyers of Goldman & Ehrlich at 312-332-6733 for a consultation about your case.

Illinois Expands Fmla to Include Time Off for Child Bereavement

As part of a summer that has seen a dramatic expansion of workers’ rights throughout the state, Gov. Bruce Rauner recently signed the Child Bereavement Act, which immediately expands the types of leave individuals can take under federal labor laws. Effective immediately, most workers in Illinois may take up to 10 non-paid days off from work to mourn the loss of a child.

Individuals covered under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) are now eligible to take child bereavement leave. The FMLA extends to employees working in companies employing at least 50 employees and gives employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave during the year to take care of a sick family member.

Should an employee lose two children within a year, they are entitled to up to six weeks of child bereavement leave. Grieving workers cannot exceed their total 12 weeks of paid leave with their time off allotted for child bereavement leave. 

How soon do I have to take my child bereavement leave?

Workers utilizing their child bereavement leave must do so within 60 days of the child’s passing and give 48 hours advanced notice if it is practical or reasonable. The time off can be used for a multitude of different matters, including mourning the loss of the child, making funeral arrangements, and attending the burial of their child.

Employer retaliation protections under the FMLA

Employers may not retaliate or take adverse actions against employees who choose to take time off to care for a sick family member or to bury their child under the FMLA. These protections also extend to employees who oppose other practices that may violate the FMLA and workers standing up for the rights of their coworkers under the Act.

Employees who feel their rights were violated under the FMLA should strongly consider speaking to an experienced Illinois employment lawyer to help them file claims with the Illinois Department of Labor. Contact Goldman & Ehrlich online or call 312-332-6733 to speak to one of our experienced labor law attorneys about your case and find out what your legal options are.