New Federal Overtime Policy Begins Jan. 1, 2020

Reminder to employers: the US Department of Labor’s (DOL) new overtime rule goes into effect January 1, 2020.

The DOL last September 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 new official rule 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).
Here are some tips on how to comply with the DOL’s new overtime rule.

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

Economist: Uncertainty Defines Economic Forecast in 2020

With unemployment and inflation remaining low, the US economy will close 2019 in strong shape, but warning signs indicate potential for a downturn in 2020, said Anirban Basu, economist and Chairman & CEO at Sage Policy Group.

Speaking at last week’s Howard County Chamber Annual Economic Forecast breakfast in Columbia, MD, Basu cited 109 consecutive months of job growth in the US and the Baltimore-Washington region as a key sign of the US economy’s overall strength.

With the US economy at full employment, Basu noted most companies’ biggest challenge is finding qualified workers for their open positions.

For job growth in our region over the last year, Basu said Maryland ranked 27th in the US while Virginia ranked 36th. Baltimore and Washington, DC are tied for 17th among major US cities for job growth over the same period.

For his economic forecast, Basu said he’s keeping an eye on continued rising levels of corporate and consumer (e.g., mortgage, auto and credit cards) debt, which tends to cause an increase in bankruptcies.
In addition, he said companies are wary of the high level of “uncertainty layered on top of uncertainty” relative to volatile US trade policies and the overall political environment going into an election year.

To prepare for an economic downturn next year, Basu recommended businesses “line up your stars – your best talent – and work to retain them.” He also suggested companies establish or maintain good lines of credit with their banks and consider setting or maintaining insurance bond policies for companies in certain industry sectors.

Update on 2020 Minimum Wage Hikes

Maryland’s minimum wage for all employers increases to $11/hour on Jan. 1, 2020 (up from the state’s current rate of $10.10/hour).

This increase is part of the state’s scheduled minimum wage increase to $15/hour for large employers (15+ employees) by 2025 and smaller employers (15 or fewer employees) by 2026. Click here to view MD’s annual minimum wage rate increase schedule.

In addition, Montgomery County’s (MD) minimum wage increases to $14/hour in July 2020 for employers with 51+ employees; $13.25/hour for employers with 11-50 employees; and $13/hour for employers with 10 or fewer employees.

The District of Columbia’s minimum wage increases to $15 per hour on July 1, 2020 (up from its current rate of $14/hour). Virginia’s minimum wage remains at $7.25/hour in line with the federal minimum wage level.

Early Bird Registration Open for 2020 Women’s Leadership Conference

Take advantage of Early Bird registration by the end of this year to participate in the 2020 Women’s Leadership Conference (WLC), March 27, 2020 at Maryland Live! Casino & Hotel.

The theme of next year’s conference is “HERSTORY: Ignite your 2020 Vision: Enlighten, Embrace, Equip and Execute!”

The annual WLC features a distinguished group of women leaders in a range of professions in the Baltimore-Washington region and aims to recognize “the contribution of phenomenal women leaders and their effect on regional business growth as well as to inspire all attendees to strive for more effective leadership.”

The WLC is hosted by the Howard County (MD) Chamber of Commerce.

Register today:

Happy Thanksgiving!

All of us at impactHR wish you and your family a wonderful, happy Thanksgiving holiday – and very safe travels in the week ahead!