Don’t Be Caught Red Handed: Be Aware of New Wage Theft Rules and Pay Perils
At the end of January 2020, the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners made significant amendments to the Wage Theft and Recovery Ordinance, which applies to any entity or person who employs a person (even just one person) within Pinellas County. These amendments became effective in February 2020.
With these new amendments, employers must:
1. Place in a location accessible to all employees a poster summarizing the protection and rights of employees pursuant to the Wage Theft and Recovery Ordinance, which can be found here: http://www.pinellascounty.org/Humanrights/pdf/Wage_Theft_Program_Notice.pdf
2. At the time of hire, have a new employee sign a completed copy of the Wage Theft Form, which can be found here:
3. Provide a new Wage Theft Form for an employee to sign within seven (7) calendar days from any change to the information contained on the initial Wage Theft Form.
Failure to comply with these notice and posting requirements may result in fines of up to $500 per violation per day being assessed against the employer.
The Wage Theft Form must be retained for at least one year under the Pinellas County Wage Theft and Recovery Ordinance; however, other wage recordkeeping laws and regulations may require that the form be retained for a longer period of time. For example, the Fair Labor Standards Act mandates that similar information be maintained for each employee for a period of three years.
The amended Pinellas County Wage Theft and Recovery Ordinance can be found in its entirety at this link: https://library.municode.com/fl/pinellas_county/ordinances/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=1007831.
As a further reminder, on January 1, 2020, the new salary threshold for employees to qualify under the executive, administrative and professional exemptions to the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act increased to $35,568 per year or $684 per week. In addition to these salary requirements, employees must meet all the duty tests for the specific exemptions. An employee will lose their exempt status, regardless of the duties performed, however, if they are paid less than the salary threshold. Also, on January 1, 2020, the minimum wage in Florida increased to $8.56 per hour for regular hourly employees and $5.54 per hour for tipped employees when a tip credit is taken by the employer.
If you want to learn more about how labor and employment laws may impact your business, we encourage you to attend our Annual Labor and Employment Law Seminar on October 28, 2020. You can also click the link below to subscribe to our blog “Shielding Employers from Liability: Tips for Maintaining Your Armor”.