The EEOC recently announced its enforcement plans for the next several years, with a few highlights including more significant protections for employees. These employees include individuals with disabilities and criminal records, those in the LGTQBI sector, and underserved and vulnerable workers.
The use of AI and other technologies will also be given more attention. Employers must think about protocols regarding AI use and review their process for hiring workers with criminal records, medical conditions, and disabilities. They must also look into ensuring their team trains on the proper handling of accommodation requests.
The Department of Labor (DOL) proposed an increase of the salary threshold for overtime exemptions from $684 to $1,059 weekly or $55,068 annually. Once implemented, an employee in an administrative or executive position making less than $1,059 can earn overtime.
Highly compensated employees can earn from $107,432 annually to $143,988 per the the department's proposal. And using contemporaneous wage data, the salary changes might also be updated every three years.
Since the changes are likely to take effect in the spring or summer of this year, to prepare for the changes, employers should be proactive in considering the threshold changes, utilizing performance reviews, bonus targets and numbers, and compensation analysis. It is also important to create a strategic compensation strategy because the changes will likely cause compression across different positions.
Other options for employers include using bonuses less frequently or for smaller amounts because increased compensation will be required for an employee’s base pay. Employers can also delay annual adjustments or performance process and consider changing positions to limit overtime and eliminate the exemption.
This year looks active for local, state, and federal regulators. With more employees working beyond the home office, employers need to stay updated with the residences of their employees and consult with a business lawyer for assistance with the upcoming changes.