Employment Discrimination Blog

Friday, February 7, 2020

Georgia Employers Beware: Major Employment Law Changes Are Coming in 2020

What are the new salary minimums for an employee to be exempt from overtime?

The year 2020 will welcome in several significant changes to the field of employment law. Employers across the nation will want to closely review the changes to some local, state, and federal laws to ensure their compliance. Failure to adapt to changes in the legal field could result in fines or fees along with other potential penalties for employers. Our Atlanta employment law attorneys review some of the most substantial changes to employment laws in this new decade.

Salary Threshold Increases for Exempt Employees

For the first time in 15 years, the Department of Labor has issued a Final Rule increasing the minimum salary that employees must earn to be exempt from overtime. Per the new rule, which took effect on January 1, 2020, a salaried employee must earn at least $684 a week or $35,568 per year to be exempt from overtime. This minimum is up from $465 per week or $23,660 per year, which was set in 2004.

The remainder of the overtime exempt rules will stay the same. To be considered exempt, the salaried employee must be paid a fixed salary, earn the new salary minimum, and have duties that involve executive, administrative, or professional tasks. To comply with the new rule, employers must either raise the salaries of their previously exempt employees or pay these employees overtime if they work over 40 hours per week. It is anticipated that over one million employees will be affected by this new law.

Larger Employers Must Have Mother’s Rooms

The Fair Labor Standards Act will now require that employers with 50 or more employees provide a break room for mothers to express milk during the first year of the infant’s life. Hourly workers are to be provided with as many unpaid breaks as necessary to express milk. The break room must be private and cannot be a bathroom. The law will also apply to employers with more than one employee, unless that employer can show that compliance would cause an undue hardship.

Sexual Harassment Prevention

The EEOC has been filing an unprecedented number of sexual harassment lawsuits in an attempt to cut down on sexual harassment in the workplace. To avoid issues with the EEOC, employers in Georgia and elsewhere will want to ensure they have a strong sexual harassment policy in place. Employees should further be trained in harassment prevention.

Learn More About How These Laws May Affect You

These are just a few of the new laws that could impact Georgia employers. Employers of all sizes in the state of Georgia will want to consult with an employment law attorney for more guidance on the new laws of 2020.

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