Zinser offers employer action plan for addressing new rule on overtime

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Michael Zinser outlined an action plan for all employers during last week's webinar on the U.S. Department of Labor’s New Rule on Overtime.

While he noted that the November 2016 election could impact the finality of the rule, he encouraged all employers to take steps now so they are prepared to implement the changes.

Changes go into effect Thursday, Dec. 1, and the salary threshold will increase every three years, beginning Jan. 1, 2020.

In addition to identifying employees to be affected by the new rule on overtime, Zinser encouraged employers to review and update all job descriptions for employees whose duties have changed or who have possibly been misclassified as exempt.

As decisions are made, he encouraged employers to consider the psychological consequences of their actions and offered some advice on developing a communications strategy for the management team.

The new rule, he said, will not affect outside salespersons and the small newspaper exemption is not affected.  That exemption states that the minimum wage and overtime provision of the Wage and Hour Law do not apply to:

"Any employee employed in connection with the publication of any weekly, semi-weekly or daily newspaper with a circulation of less than 4,000, the major part of which circulation is within the county where published or counties contiguous thereto."

What if one corporation owns multiple newspapers under the 4,000 circulation threshold?  Must the circulation be aggregated?

Zinser said those cases must be decided on a case-by-case basis.  Among the key considerations:

  • Is all the writing and editorial work done from the same location, by the same employees, for all publications?
  • Do the newspapers have separate payrolls?
  • Is the editorial content different?
  • Is the advertising content different?
  • Do the publications have different taxpayer ID numbers?
  • Do the publications have separate U.S. Postal ID numbers?

This webinar also looked at how this new rule will pertain to newspaper carriers, as well as district managers who – as part of their duties – deliver "down routes."

A link to access the recorded webinar will be sent soon to all participants in last week's webinar.

If you missed the webinar and would like to access the archived version, click here.

L. Michael Zinser is the founding partner of The Zinser Law Firm in Nashville, Tenn. The firm, which has a heavy concentration of clients in communications media, represents management in the area of labor and employment. Zinser can be reached at (615) 244-9700 or mzinser@zinserlaw.com.

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