View all Articles

Make A List, Check It Twice: Preparing for 2019 Updates

While many are busy preparing to celebrate the season with friends and family, it is also important to look ahead and prepare for what 2019 will bring for employers.  There are several notable updates to laws that will go into effect at the end of this year or beginning of next year.  Read the list below and check it twice to ensure that your company isn’t on New York State’s naughty list.

Minimum Salary for Administrative and Executive Overtime Exemptions

New Rates Effective December 31, 2018

The minimum salary required for administrative and executive employees to be exempt from overtime pay in New York State is set to increase. Beginning December 31, 2018, the salary thresholds are as follows:

For New York City employers with 11 or more employees, $1,125 per week

For New York City employers with 10 or fewer employees, $1,012.50 per week

For Nassau, Westchester, and Suffolk County employers, $900 per week

For all other employers, $832 per week

Employers should now begin to review the weekly compensation of all applicable exempt employees to ensure they will continue to meet the minimum salary requirements after the increase goes into effect.

Employers should also keep in mind that additional requirements must be satisfied in order for an employee to be exempt.  HR Works clients may reach out to the Helpline for additional guidance, including an FLSA Exemption Classification chart that provides a more thorough look at the full exemption requirements.

While these increases are specific to administrative and executive employees in New York State, the U. S. Department of Labor has indicated that increases to the federal minimum salary for exemption may be announced as early as March, 2019.  HR Works will continue to keep clients updated as additional information is relayed by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Minimum Wage

New Rates Effective December 31, 2018

The New York State minimum wage will increase on December 31, 2018. These rates remain in effect until December 30, 2019.

There are different hourly rates for workers in the fast food industry and those who receive tips; HR Works clients may reach out the HR Helpline for additional information on these industries.

Employers should also remember to update their minimum wage posters to reflect the 2019 rates.  The poster is not yet available from the New York Department of Labor but will be available to be printed out from the website on or near December 31, 2018.

Paid Family Leave  

New Rates Effective January 1, 2019

The employee-paid premium rate and annual cap under New York’s Paid Family Leave (PFL) law for 2019 will increase on January 1, 2019.  To cover the costs of their PFL insurance premiums, employers may deduct .153% of an employee’s weekly wage until the annual cap of $107.97 is reached. Currently, employers may deduct .126% of an employee’s weekly wage until the annual cap of $85.56 is reached.

Increased Benefit Effective January 1, 2019

The number of weeks eligible employees can take to bond with a new child, care for a sick family member, or assist loved ones when a family member is deployed abroad on active military service is increasing to 10 weeks.  This applies to all leaves that start between 1/1/19 and 12/31/19.  Clients of HR Works may reach out to the Helpline for additional guidance on employees whose leave began in 2018 but will extend into 2019 or used the maximum benefit in 2018 and are requesting additional leave in 2019.

The Paid Family Leave wage replacement benefit is also increasing to 55% of the employee’s average weekly wage, up to a maximum weekly benefit of $746.41.

Employers should work with their carrier and/or refer to the state’s website for updated 2019 forms, including an employee communication of updated rates and a 2019 statement of rights.

© 2018 HR Works, Inc. All Rights Reserved

HR Works, headquartered in Upstate New York, is a human resource management outsourcing and consulting firm serving clients throughout the United States for over thirty years. HR Works provides scalable strategic human resource management and consulting services, including: affirmative action programs; benefits administration outsourcing; HRIS self-service technology; full-time, part-time and interim on-site HR managers; HR audits; legally reviewed employee handbooks and supervisor manuals; talent management and recruiting services; and training of managers and HR professionals.