In a landmark ruling on Monday, the Supreme Court has upheld that Civil Rights Act of 1964 applies to sexual orientation and gender identity as well. This ruling was unexpected and long overdue- a major victory for equality in the workplace!
According to this ruling, employers are no longer permitted to discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity. In the words of Justice Neil M. Gorsuch “an employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender defies the law."
So what does this mean for employers? For most of us, not much. As long as you're firing individuals because of reasons like performance issues, nothing will change. However, for those who want to fire someone simply based on being transgender or homosexual, you could face consequences.
If you’ve been watching the news or reading workplace blogs, you’ve probably heard a lot of buzz about the new overtime rules. This ruling goes into effect January 1st and raises the minimum salary needed to avoid paying employees overtime.
With the the old rules, employees making under $23,660 annually needed to be paid overtime for any hours worked over 40 each week. Under the new rule, this salary is raised to $35,308.
What does this mean for employers? First, any employees classified as exempt but paid under $35,308 need to be paid overtime for all hours worked over 40. This means that if these employees aren’t recording their time, they’ll need to do so starting in the new year.
Alternatively, employers can raise salaries for those under the threshold to keep them classified as exempt and avoid paying overtime or tracking their hours.
So so what’s the best route? It depends on the employer. Some may be willing to pay overtime and have their employees start tracking their hours. After all, who wouldn't want extra money? However, it’s important to realize hat this may have the opposite effect on employee morale. Many employees view exempt status and not having to record hours as an achievement in their career and may resent having their hours monitored. It may be worthwhile to increase their salary rather than reclassify them. Each employer should carefully weight the pros and cons prior to making a decision.
Want to read more? Visit https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/overtime/2019
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