2020 Tune-Up Checklist for Employers

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2020 Tune-Up Checklist for Employers

  1. Minimum Wage Increase

As of January 1, 2020, the Minimum Wage Act of the State of Arkansas mandates a rate of not less than $10.00 per hour be paid to each employee.

  1. Job Classification & Compensation

Employers should assess whether their employees are properly classified as exempt or non-exempt from overtime, and whether the exemption requirements changed.

On September 24, 2019, the United States Department of Labor revised prior regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act regarding certain overtime exemptions for salaried employees. This rule was effective on January 1, 2020. The final rule updates the salary and compensation levels needed for workers to be exempt from overtime to the following:

  • The “Standard Salary Level” for Executive, Professional, and Administrative Employees is raised to $684 per week (equivalent to $35,568 per year for a full year). The standard salary level was formerly $455 per week.
  • The total annual compensation level for “highly compensated employees” is now $107,432 per year. It was formerly $100,000.
    • To be exempt, a highly compensated employee must also receive at last $684 per week on a salary or fee basis (without regard to nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments/commissions).
  • Employers may now use nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments (including commissions) that are paid at least annually (or more frequently) to satisfy up to 10 percent (10%) of the Standard Salary Level. This does not apply to highly compensated employees.
    • If an employee does not earn enough in nondiscretionary bonus or incentive payments in a given year (52-week period), the employer can make a “catch-up” payment within one pay period at the end of the 52-week period. This payment may be made up to 10 percent (10%) of the total standard salary level for the preceding 52-week period. This only counts toward the previous year in which employee did not qualify as exempt and does not get credited toward the year in which it is paid.
  • Special salary levels for workers in U.S. territories and in the motion picture industry.
  1. Employee Policy and Handbook

With the many changes having taken effect over the last few years, employers should review their policies, including but not limited to the policies on pay, non-discrimination, sexual harassment, dress code, anti-harassment, and medical marijuana.

  1. Employee Headcount

If you’ve gained any employees over the past year, you should make sure that you are aware of any thresholds reached and the policies that apply to you as an employer. For example, the FLSA applies to most every employer, but if you have 5 or more employees, the Arkansas Minimum Wage Act applies; 15 or more employees, Title VII and the Americans with Disabilities Act apply; 20 or more employees, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act applies; and 50 or more employees, the Family Medical Leave Act applies.

  1. Posters and Notices

Many laws require certain postings and notices to be present at the employer’s place of business. Make sure that your posters and notices are up to date and current.


Please contact our office for more information on this topic, for review of your policy manual, or if you have any questions about how to implement these changes moving forward.

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