Venable partner Ron Taylor was quoted in an August 4, 2016 SHRM article on employer considerations regarding federal and state overtime compliance. Later this year, a new federal rule will raise the salary threshold for the Fair Labor Standards Act's (FLSA's) white-collar exemptions. Beyond salary, employers must also consider a duties test to determine if an employee falls under the white-collar exemption while juggling different state laws.
One of the biggest challenges, according to Taylor, is recognizing that state and federal laws do not always work in concert with each other. "Imagine you own a restaurant chain that operates in several states with different rules," he explained. "If someone was working in Illinois and is transferred to California, you have to ensure that, at least while working in California, the employee is being paid in compliance with California law." He added that employers need to be aware of varying industry-specific overtime exemptions under state laws.
"A best practice is to start by focusing on compliance with the federal laws, then turn to the state laws," Taylor suggested. "The federal law is a good starting point, but it can't be the ending point because you'll run into compliance issues."