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Overtime Expansion

U.S. Department of Labor Moves to Finalize Overtime Expansion

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On March 14, 2016 the U.S. Department of Labor submitted its overtime rule to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. Once finalized, the rule is expected to expand overtime protections to millions of American workers in 2016.

The final rule could be made public as early as April, based on the OMB’s typical review process, and would take effect within 60 days of publication in the Federal Register. This potential time frame would give employers little time to comply with the new wage-and-hour standards.

Time Is Ticking for Employers

Overtime expansion is expected to have a major operational, administrative and cultural impact on many businesses and could cost employers more than $5.2 billion. Service industries like restaurants, retail and hospitality may be hit especially hard.

It’s important for companies to start evaluating their workforce now to determine the best options for controlling costs and managing the administrative burden under the new rule.

Count the Cost

A good way to get started is with Paycom’s FREE, overtime expansion calculator which allows you to quickly calculate your potential overtime costs. We even help you find the point where it may make more fiscal sense to actually raise salaries, based on the new, proposed-income threshold for exempt employees.

Stay tuned for more important information about managing overtime expansion right here on the Paycom Blog.

Brie Hobbs

by Brie Hobbs

Author Bio: For more than eight years, Brie has been writing to both job seekers and business leaders about human resources and the challenges facing today’s workforce. Her articles have appeared on award-winning career and HR blogs, as well as on the International Franchise Association’s SmartBrief and other notable publications. With a background in franchising, Brie focuses on helping franchise organizations understand how Paycom’s human capital management technology can benefit their business.

Philadelphia Toughens Equal Pay Laws: Employers Cannot Ask About Salary History

Philadelphia Toughens Equal Pay Laws: Employers Cannot Ask Salary History

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Philly Toughens Equal Pay Laws: Employers Cannot Ask Salary History

Recently, Philadelphia became the first city in the U.S. to pass a law prohibiting employers from asking applicants about their salary and wage history in the hiring process. Instead, all employment offers should be based on job qualifications rather than prior wages earned by the applicant. “Equal pay for equal work” has been a trending phrase in the workplace. More laws are being passed in an effort to provide additional protection to employees facing gender and minority pay discrimination.

The National Wage Gap

According to White House statistics, full-time working women earn 77 percent of what their male counterparts earn. The national wage gap is even more glaring when comparing only minority women. According to the National Committee on Pay Equity, the gender wage gap has narrowed by less than one-half cent per year since Congress passed the Equal Pay Act in 1963. The aim of these new equal pay laws is to accelerate wage gap elimination among women and minorities. By prohibiting employers from requiring applicants to disclose their salary or wage histories, advocates hope that applicants can break the cycle of pay discrimination when transitioning from one job to another. 

The Impact on the Employer

Once the Philadelphia ordinance goes into effect on May 23, 2017, employers within the city will no longer be able to place questions on job applications regarding prior salary of the applicant. This type of restriction is very similar to the “ban the box” laws passed by over 100 cities and states prohibiting employers from asking questions regarding criminal histories.

The full details of the law include making the following employment practices unlawful:

  • Requiring disclosure of an applicant’s wage history
  • Making a job interview or job offer contingent upon disclosure of wage history
  • Relying on wage history to determine wages for new hires
  • Retaliating against an applicant for not disclosing wage history

Expect many of these same restrictions to be passed in other jurisdictions. Massachusetts passed a very similar law last August, which takes effect in 2018, and Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York, recently signed an executive order prohibiting state agencies from these practices.


Disclaimer:  This blog includes general information about legal issues and developments in the law. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You need to contact a lawyer licensed in your jurisdiction for advice on specific legal issues problems.

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Posted in Blog, Compliance, Employment Law, Featured, HR Management

Jason Hines

by Jason Hines

Author Bio: Jason Hines is a Paycom compliance attorney. With more than five years’ experience in the legal field, he monitors developments in human resource laws, rules and regulations to ensure any changes are promptly updated in Paycom’s system for our clients. Previously, he was an attorney at the Oklahoma City law firm Elias, Books, Brown & Nelson. Hines earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Oklahoma and his juris doctor degree from the Oklahoma City University School of Law, where he graduated cum laude. A fan of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Hines also enjoys exploring the great outdoors with his wife and daughter.

3 Things Employers Should Know About Wage Garnishments

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Millions of Americans’ wages are garnished every year, meaning most employers have processed at least one wage garnishment.

Creditors and financial institutions now use wage garnishments to collect on everything from medical bills to consumer debt. Debt collectors, creditors and debt buyers file numerous consumer credit lawsuits annually in almost every state. Just as the number of wage garnishments has the potential to increase, so does the time it takes an employer to fully execute one. Some interest-accruing orders could leave employers responsible for withholding wages for years.

Whether you are processing your first or 50th wage garnishment, keeping these things in mind can help you consistently mitigate risk and reduce your company’s liability:

  1. You must respond to a writ of garnishment, even if issued to you in error.

Sometimes, courts accidentally send a writ of garnishment either to the debtor’s previous employer or the wrong employer altogether. If you receive a garnishment order under either of these circumstances, you still must answer the garnishment. Specific procedures exist to help employers navigate this situation.

Remember, when you receive a writ of garnishment, the issuing court is ordering you to seize property in the form of wages. Failing to properly respond could result in noncompliance with a court order and leave you on the hook for the entire amount of the debt.

  1. Laws for calculating garnishments vary depending on the type of order and/or the state in which you are located.

States’ wage garnishment laws differ from one another and from federal law. Understanding which set to follow will ensure you’re accurately calculating garnishment amounts. Generally, you must follow your state’s wage garnishment laws, even if the order originated out-of-state.

Federal law provides that no more than 25 percent of an employee’s disposable earnings can be withheld. However, some states allow garnishment of no more than 10 percent of an employee’s wages. Others have rules against collecting amounts that drop an employee’s earning levels below the poverty line. North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Texas have banned garnishments as a means of collecting on consumer debt.

The U.S. Department of Labor advises employers faced with conflicting withholding requirements to follow whichever law results in the smaller garnishment amount.

Exceptions exist for garnishments that result from bankruptcy, nonpayment of state or federal taxes or a child support or alimony order. Withholding percentages for these garnishments are different and you must determine which law takes precedence. For example, employers executing withholding orders for child support or alimony must abide by garnishment laws of the state that issued the order and the state where the employee works, depending on which part of the process they’re executing.

Understanding and following the variances in state and federal laws is crucial to remaining compliant with wage garnishment orders you receive.

  1. Some garnishments take priority over others.

should be given priority over those in arrears.

Other types of garnishments require employers to process existing orders before newer ones. Failure to process garnishments by legally mandated order can result in noncompliance.

Carrying out wage garnishments can be complicated. The administrative burden of executing an order can be challenging for employers, considering the margin for error is practically nonexistent. Employers who do not pay attention to the details of each garnishment order could face penalties for noncompliance.

For some companies, outsourcing wage garnishments to a knowledgeable HR and payroll provider is one option that can help them remain compliant, mitigate risk and reduce liability for every wage garnishment they process.

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Posted in Compliance, Employment Law

Matthew Paque

by Matthew Paque

Author Bio: Matthew A. Paque is Paycom’s Director of Legal and Compliance. In this role, he is responsible for Paycom’s legal affairs including compliance and risk management. He has served in a variety of leadership and legal positions in both the private sector and in government. Before joining Paycom, Paque was an attorney at the law firm of McAfee & Taft and previously was Assistant General Counsel at Tronox a global mining and chemical company. He holds a J.D. from the University of Oklahoma and a B.A. from Oklahoma City University. Paque is also an adjunct professor at Oklahoma City University’s Meinders School of Business.

3 Key Takeaways from the EEOC 2016 Report

3 Key Takeaways from the EEOC 2016 Report

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3 Key Takeaways for Employers, from the EEOC 2016 Report

On Nov. 15, 2016, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released its Fiscal Year 2016 Performance Report. According to the report, the agency amassed more than $482.1 million for victims of discrimination, saw a reduction in the number of cases filed, and increased the number of discrimination charges resolved.

Here are further details on those three important matters.

  1. Workplace Discrimination

Of more than $482.1 million collected for discrimination victims in private workplaces and in federal, state and local government agencies, the funds break down as follows:

  • $347.9 million – secured via settlements, mediation and conciliation – for discrimination victims in private companies and state and local government agencies
  • $52.2 million – secured through legal action – for discrimination victims
  • $82 million for federal employees and job applicants

In FY 2016, which ended Sept. 30, the EEOC placed significant emphasis on investigations to address systemic discrimination, which the agency defines as “a pattern or practice, policy, or class case where the alleged discrimination has a broad impact on an industry, profession, company or geographic area.” Under Section 707 of Title VII (of the Civil Rights Act of 1964), the EEOC has the authority to file lawsuits based on “pattern or practice” against employers.

The EEOC also resolved 273 systemic investigations and 21 systemic lawsuits, recovering over $58.3 million (included in the $482.1 million total) for victims of discrimination.

  1. Filings Decreased

The number of cases filed by the EEOC dropped sharply, from 142 in FY 2015 to 86 in FY 2016. The lawsuits included 58 individual cases and 29 cases involving multiple victims or discriminatory policies. By the end of FY 2016, the agency had 165 cases that were still active, compared to 218 active cases in FY 2015.

  1. Resolutions Increased

In FY 2016, the EEOC staff resolved 97,443 discrimination charges, 6.5 percent more than in FY 2015. As a result, the agency reduced its pending-charges workload by 3.8 percent to 73,503, the lowest amount in three years. The EEOC also responded to more than 585,000 calls to its toll-free number and some 160,000 queries in field offices, indicating substantial demand remains for its services.

What This Means for Employers

The EEOC repeatedly has identified its systemic program as a top enforcement initiative. According to a Society for Human Resource Management article on the report, employers should be aware of the increased likelihood – nearly 40 percent – of a reasonable cause finding when undergoing a systemic investigation.

Employers should refrain from employment and hiring practices that violate protected classes, such as race, gender, national origin, religion and color – which were the top five types of discrimination charges last year. The article noted that the EEOC likely will pay considerably more attention to pay discrimination going forward, so it’s essential that employers adhere to equal pay laws.

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Posted in Blog, Compliance, Employment Law, Featured

Emily R. Tate

by Emily R. Tate

Author Bio: Emily Rothrock Tate is an award-winning public relations professional with more than a decade of experience in both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors. In her role as a PR specialist, she writes about complex issues and trends that today’s HR professionals face, and serves as steward of Paycom’s corporate giving initiative. An honoree of OKC Biz’s Forty Under 40 and ionOklahoma’s 30/30 Next Gen awards, she serves on the board of Oklahoma City’s Plaza District Association. Outside of work, Tate enjoys science-fiction novels, volunteering in the arts community, cooking and spending time with her husband and son.

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