Oregon’s Tiered Minimum Wage Increase to Be Enforced July 1st, 2016

Starting July 1st, Oregon will roll out the beginning of a complex six-year mandatory wage hike, which will be based on a tiered approach based on employer location. The different areas will have their wages increased tied to the density of their respective regions. The standard wage posted on the labor law poster will be $9.75, and this will include the Portland Metro area. Non-urban counties will only have the wages increased to $9.50 per hour.

The rate of Wage increases will be a three tiered structure based on three different density groups. High-Density population areas including Portland’s urban growth boundary will see an increase of $1.50 starting July 2017 up to $11.25 per hour, and will receive annual increases up until June 30th, 2022 when the minimum wage will go all the way up to $14.75 per hour. The medium density areas, will only increase to $10.25 an hour on July 1st, 2017 and will increase annually until it hits $13.50 per hour in 2022. The lowest density counties meanwhile, will see their 2017 rate increase to $10.00 per hour and increase annually it goes up to $12.50 in July of 2022.

Once 2023 comes around, the Commissioner of Labor will base the increases on cost of living expenses, which is similar to the system that uses the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Employers should take time to go over their current payroll practices, and be sure to comply with the changes that will be adjusted annually.

Other changes to the labor law poster include the Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA), the Oregon Indoor Clean Air Act (ICAA), a brand new Oregon Sick Time Law, and a new format that improves clarity to the Oregon OSHA compliances.

New Overtime Rules Effective 12/1/16

The Department of Labor has updated the rules in regards to how employers compensate their workers with overtime. Starting December 1, 2016, an estimated 4.2 million American employees can look forward to increased overtime pay in which they are currently ineligible to receive.

The new rules were designed to raise the threshold of current overtime pay, have automatic updates to the rules, strengthen the protection already received by salaried employees, and to provide clarity to the current rules. The current minimum wage is capped at $455 a week, which is based off of the 40th percentile of the lowest region in the country (which is currently the south). The new rules will increase this to $913 a week, or $47,476 for a full-year worker. There is also a provision that the rules will be updated every three years, which will begin on January 1, 2020. The new rules will also solidify and bring clarity to workers who were already entitled to overtime. In order to establish whether an employee is not entitled to overtime pay, the employer now must prove that:

  • The employee is above the 90th percentile – currently $100,000 to the new salary of $134,004
  • Ascertain whether the employee would qualify under a “duties test” – the type of work that congress deemed excluded from overtime protections. (This will be discussed in a future posting).
  • Employers will be able to count bonuses and commissions toward as much as 10 percent of the salary limit. This recognizes the importance these types of pay have in certain sectors in regards to their pay scale procedures and arrangements.

These new rules were meant as a way to improve the overall work-life balance, increase productivity, prevent injury and give a boost to new employment opportunities. This will happen through spreading the work to other employees who may be part-time, or hiring new people to fill the needs of work currently done by people on overtime.

Of course employers can avoid breaking any of the new rules by simply paying time-and-a-half for overtime work. They can also just limit weekly hours to 40 per week, or raise the employee’s salary to the new threshold of $47,476.

For more information, visit the Department of Labor’s website at www.dol.gov.

Georgia Revises Unemployment Poster

In response to recent issues with their Unemployment standards, Georgia tacked on the words “through no fault of your own” onto their Unemployment Poster. These words clarifies the conditions set for receiving unemployment benefits. In addition, for each week a claim for benefits is made, a report must be made by the claimant containing all their search contacts for that week.

The poster now also notifies employees that claims are now available to be made online.

Tennessee Updates Unemployment Insurance Law

The Department of Labor of Tennessee has updated their Unemployment Insurance law to include stricter requirements for insurance recipients. The labor law poster now indicates that insurance receivers must now prove that they have searched a minimum of three credible jobs per week, as well as recordings of their work searches written on a Tennessee Unemployment Compensation Work Search Log distributed by the Tennessee Career Center.

Washington Updates Workers’ Compensation Poster

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Washington has added a new provision to its mandatory Workers’ Compensation labor law poster which requires employees to now inform their employer of work-related injuries, instead of just their health care provider.

This change applies to all employees, be they self-insured or through the Washington Department of Labor and Industries. Employees insured under the latter can now view information on the poster about selecting a health care provider and filing a claim for compensation. Self-insured workers are now also advised to report injuries immediately.


Kentucky Changes Unemployment Insurance Poster

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Kentucky has revised its mandatory Unemployment Insurance labor law poster to now display new consequences and penalties for those claiming benefits under false pretenses and/or statements. These various new penalties can include a benefit disqualification for up to 52 weeks, possible felony charges, fines, and imprisonment.

Those who lack work due to medical restrictions will no longer find a provision entitling them to partial benefits on this poster.

Lastly, phone numbers on the poster to reach the Kentucky Division of Unemployment Insurance for filing unemployment insurance have been updated.

2013 Minimum Wage Changes

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Here’s a concise list of the states increasing their minimum wage for 2013:

  • Arizona – increasing from $7.65 to $7.80
    • Tipped employees – increasing from $4.65 to $4.80
  • Colorado – increasing from $7.64 to $7.78.
    • Tipped employees – increasing from $4.62 to $4.76
  • Florida – increasing from $7.67 to $7.79.
    • Tipped employees – increasing from $4.65 to $4.77
  • Missouri -increasing from $7.25 to 7.35.
    • Tipped employees -increasing from $3.625 to $3.675
  • Montana – increasing from $7.65 to $7.80.
  • Ohio – increasing from $7.70 to $7.85.
    • Tipped employees – increasing from $3.85 per hour to $3.93
  • Oregon – increasing from $8.80 to $8.95.
  • Rhode Island – increasing from $7.40 to $7.75.
    • Workers that are 14 or 15 years of age – increasing from $5.55 to $5.81
  • Vermont – increasing from $8.46 to $8.60.
    • Tipped employees – increasing from $4.10 per hour to $4.17
  • Washington state – increasing from $9.04 to $9.19.
    • Workers that are 14 or 15 years of age – increasing from $7.68 to $7.81

These changes should result in a payroll increase for an estimated 850,000 people.


Florida’s Minimum Wage Increase

2013 Florida Labor Law Posters
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Florida has updated their Minimum Wage labor law poster to show the state’s new wage per hour, which has been increased from $7.67 to $7.79. Tipped employees will see their wage increase from $4.65 to $4.77 per hour. Both of these changes will be effective on January 1st, 2013.


Washington Adjusts Minimum Wage

Washington’s Department of Labor & Industries has adjusted its minimum wage for 2013, increasing it from $9.04 to $9.19 per hour. This change will be effective on January 1, 2013. Workers that are 14 or 15 years of age will see their minimum wage change from $7.68 to $7.81 per hour, effective on the same date.

Alabama Adds to Child Labor and Unemployment Posters

2013 Alabama Labor Law Posters

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Alabama has introduced a section in its mandatory Child Labor Laws poster which requires employers to include a new form for employees under the age of 18 on the premises. This new form is part of the general update to record keeping in a business with minors. Employers must now display an Employee Information Form, Proof of Age, and Time Records showing the number of hours worked each day. Child Labor certificate must also be displayed.

New information regarding restrictions that apply to minors and the sale of alcohol has also been added. Immediate family of the alcohol-providing establishment’s owner/operator can now be employed if their work has nothing to do with serving, selling, dispensing, or handing of alcohol.

A minor clarification was also made to the wording in the poster’s punishments section. The words “and/or prosecution” were added.

Lastly, Alabama’s Unemployment Compensation labor law poster now shows proper information in the aftermath of the Department of Industrial Relations and the Alabama Department of Labor merging. A new website address has been added.