What Exactly is Time-and-a-Half Pay? The Answer May Be Surprising

With the new federal overtime regulations becoming effective December 1, 2016, employers across the country are addressing how to calculate a salaried, non-exempt employee’s overtime wages. This question has become more acute now that many currently exempt employees will be classified as non-exempt, if they do not meet the increased salary threshold of $47,476 for the white-collar exemption, and therefore are owed overtime pay.[1] The specific calculation approach may significantly impact the resulting overtime pay owed, and the results may be surprising. The following examples and recommendations provide insights for optimal overtime pay practices.

White Collar Enough? FLSA Exemptions for Executive, Administrative, and Professional Job Duties

Many nonprofits are acutely aware that the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) salary threshold for the white collar exemption soon will more than double to $913 per week ($47,476 per year).  Another critical requirement for the white collar exemption’s applicability is the right job category, such as executive, administrative, or professional.  Absent such qualifying job duties, an employee will not fall within the exemption – even if his or her salary exceeds the salary threshold – and therefore will qualify for overtime pay as a non-exempt employee.  How are these job categories defined, and how can nonprofit employers make sure they properly classify their exempt employees?

Federal Court Denies Title VII Sexual Orientation Claim, But With Serious Reservations About Underlying Rationale

Federal employment discrimination claims made on the basis of the plaintiff’s sexual orientation are not permissible in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin, at least for now.   The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled against a woman’s employment discrimination claim based on sexual orientation, concluding that Title VII’s protection against discrimination based on “sex” does not extend to “sexual orientation.”  Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College (7th Cir. July 28, 2016).  In so ruling, the court adhered to its binding precedent mandating the result.  However, the court also concluded that excessively blurred lines exist between protection for gender-nonconforming claims (those in which adverse employment action was based on the employee’s failure to conform to others’ views on how a person of the employee’s gender should look or act),  which enjoy some protection under Title VII, and sexual orientation claims, which do not.