Understanding Major US Labor Laws
The American workplace is in a state of flux between landmark federal rulings, state-level advances, and a changing social landscape, understanding your rights and responsibilities as an employer has never been more complex. International companies are often unaware of the choppy waters of U.S. labor laws, and we want to give you a general overview to keep in mind.
In the upcoming segments, we'll dive deeper into each of these topics, offering simple examples, insights, and tools that corporations need to thrive in the workplace of 2024.
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What is FLSA?
The acronym FLSA in the US stands for Fair Labor Standards Act, which establishes basic minimum wage and overtime pay standards. These standards are enforced by the Department's Wage and Hour Division. It applies to most employees in the private sector and federal, state, and local governments.
The FLSA generally applies to employees who perform work within the US, regardless of their citizenship or physical location. This means even remote workers based in other countries could be covered by the FLSA if their work is considered "work within the US" as defined by the law.
Employers must maintain specific records of employees' wages, hours worked, and other details, regardless of their location. Could use reliable timekeeping and payroll systems that can track employee hours and ensure accurate pay calculations, even for remote workers.
Federal Labor Laws
The National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB) new rule defining "joint employers" would go into effect on February 26, 2024. This has implications for organizing efforts and collective bargaining in various business structures.
The Department of Labor (DOL) has proposed increasing the salary threshold for overtime exemptions to $1,059 per week ($55,068 annually), which could affect the eligibility of millions of workers for overtime pay. Public comments on the proposal closed on December 19, 2023, and the DOL is expected to finalize the rule soon.
The federal minimum wage remains $7.25 per hour, while many states have implemented their minimum wage increases, some of which exceed the federal level. For example, California's minimum wage increased to $16 per hour on January 1, 2024.
On the family leave side, there is currently no federal mandate for paid family leave, some states like Colorado and Minnesota have begun implementing their programs. More action on this front at the federal level is possible in 2024.
If you have been employed by a private company or a state government, it is recommended that you reach out to the workers' compensation program in the state where you reside or work. It is important to note that the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Workers' Compensation Programs does not play a role in overseeing or administering state workers' compensation programs.
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Major Florida Labor Laws in 2024
Florida is renowned for its thriving economy and sunny climate, making it an appealing destination for both employers and employees alike. However, comprehending the intricacies of the state's labor laws can be as challenging as navigating through a turbulent storm. As we progress further into 2024, various established and emerging laws will mold the legal landscape. In light of this, let's delve deeper into the significant Florida labor laws that will impact the workforce this year.
Effective September 30, 2023, the Florida minimum wage will be $12.00 per hour, with a minimum wage of at least $8.98 per hour for tipped employees, in addition to tips, through September 29, 2024.
Discrimination: Florida prohibits discrimination based on race, religion, gender, and other protected characteristics. Familiarize yourself with the state's anti-discrimination laws to ensure a fair and inclusive workplace.
Although Florida lacks a statewide paid leave program, some companies and municipalities offer paid sick and parental leave, and this trend may continue in the future.
Thirteen states and the District of Columbia have laws that create paid family and medical leave programs for eligible workers. Additionally, three states, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Virginia, have voluntary programs that allow some workers and employers to purchase private family or medical leave insurance.
If you need specific guidance or have questions for your business, please consult with a qualified attorney or human capital consultant.
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