impactnews: US Dept. of Labor Approves New Overtime Rule, Begins Jan. 2020

The US Department of Labor (DOL) last week approved an increase in the minimum salary an employee must earn to be exempt from minimum wage and overtime under a white-collar exemption.

The DOL’s final rule, now official policy, requires salaried exempt executive, professional, administrative, and IT/computer employees to be paid at least $684 per week (or $35,568 for a full-year worker) on a salary basis. Above this salary level, eligibility for overtime varies based on job duties. This new rule is an increase from the current minimum of $455 per week (or $23,660).

The DOL’s new rule goes into effect January 1, 2020.

impactAction: To prepare for compliance with this new overtime policy, impactHR recommends employers:

  • Begin the process of conducting an audit of the job duties of your employees classified as exempt
  • Once these employees are identified, employers will need to choose between giving them a raise to meet the new minimum to maintain the exemption or re-classifying them as a non-exempt and paying overtime
  • Prepare to add new policies and practices for the overtime pay rule into your employee handbook (or consider distributing them separately as handbook amendments)
  • In advance of enactment of the rule, prepare to distribute your updated handbooks and consider having employees sign-off to acknowledge their acceptance and understanding of these new policies
  • With your handbook up-to-date with overtime language, re-emphasize the overtime policies with newly reclassified employees

Read more about the new overtime rule.

If you have questions about this new rule or preparing for compliance, contact an impactHR team member at or 443-741-3900.

impactHR’s Kelly Mitchell Joins Board of Directors of BBB-Greater MD

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Greater Maryland has selected impactHR’s Kelly Mitchell to join its Board of Directors.Kelly Mitchell

Kelly, who has led the A+ rated-impactHR’s longtime accreditation with the BBB of Greater Maryland, was approved by a unanimous vote of BBB’s Board last week. The vote came after her application and two in-depth interviews by BBB’s nominating committee.

The BBB of Greater MD, a non-profit organization, is governed by a voluntary Board of Directors comprised of representatives from Accredited Businesses in good standing with BBB.

BBB Board members are in full compliance with and have made a contractual commitment to BBB’s Code of Business Practices. Board members serve one three-year term and are eligible to renew for a second term. Learn more.

HR Training: Dealing with Harassment in the Workplace

Did you know employers who have any knowledge about harassment, even alleged harassment, and who fail to take appropriate action, can be held liable?

Taking proactive steps will help minimize the risk for your organization or company and help protect your employees from harassment and its debilitating effects.

The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) encourages employers to establish workplace harassment prevention strategies. As it stands today, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine and New York are the only states that require employers to provide periodic harassment training for their employees.

The following steps may help companies and organizations be proactive in addressing workplace harassment issues:

  • Ensure you have a written handbook policy outlining the company’s stance on workplace harassment in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws. Have your legal counsel review the policy to ensure accuracy and clarity
  • Obtain a signed acknowledgment form indicating the employee understands the company policy regarding workplace harassment
  • Training on company’s workplace harassment policies should be included in all new-hire orientations as well as conducted for all managers and employees periodically through the year
  • Act immediately to investigate complaints of harassment. Many harassment claims include allegations that the employer delayed proper action on a complaint
  • Periodically review and revise (if needed) the workplace harassment policy in your employee handbook
  • Maintain records on all trainings provided to employees, including attendance lists and signed acknowledgment forms

Ultimately, awareness and education through training are the best preventative tools to reduce or perhaps even eliminate instances of workplace harassment.

If you have questions about employee training to prevent workplace harassment, contact an impactHR team member at or 443-741-3900.

New MD Law Prohibiting Non-Compete Agreements in Effect Oct. 1

Beginning tomorrow, October 1, Maryland becomes the fifth state to prohibit employers from entering into non-compete agreements with lower-wage employees (those who earn equal to or less than $15 per hour or $31,200 annually).

Under a bill passed into law by the Maryland General Assembly last May, this new measure states:
All “noncompete [provisions] that restrict the ability of an employee to enter into employment with a new employer or to become self-employed in the same or similar business or trade” are “null and void as being against the public policy of the State.”

It’s important to note the law does not provide for a private right of action nor does it impose fines or penalties on employers attempting to impose a non-compete provision for their lower wage workers. The law, instead, gives employees a defense against an attempt by an employer to enforce a non-compete agreement.

In addition, the law is not limited to agreements made after the effective date, Oct. 1, 2019. Thus, any current non-compete agreement with an eligible employee may become unenforceable in Maryland when the law goes into effect. Read more.

If you have questions about complying with this new law, contact an impactHR team member at or 443-741-3900.

GovCon: OFCCP Unveils “Compliance Assistance Guides” Portal

For federal contractors, the US Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) recently launched a new component to its website called “Compliance Assistance Guides.”

This portal provides a set of easy-to-access guides on all facets of compliance (especially regarding employment) with relevant rules for federal contractors.

As part of this new online portal, OFCCP has introduced the following HR-focused rules/guidance modifications:

  • Federal contractors listing job advertisements for open positions within the scope of their contract may now use “EOE” as a substitute for the phrase: “an equal opportunity employer.”

The “EEO is the Law” poster and the “pay transparency” notice may now be posted either “electronically” or “physically,” as long as employees and job applicants have a way to access easily these materials. Learn more.