September 8, 2015
Changes to Overtime Law

New Standards for ICC Tests

FEMA Releases New Educational Video

Changes to Overtime Law

On July 6, 2015, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would change the interpretation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The current FLSA ruling, which has been in place since August of 2014, exempts employees from overtime regulations who make at least $455 per week and who meet the duties test related to each classification: executive, administrative, learned and creative professional, outside sales and computer professional. The outside sales exemption does not have to meet the $455 per week threshold and the computer professional may be exempt from overtime if they earn $27.63 or more per hour.

The FLSA also has a rule for highly compensated employees (HCEs). HCEs are employees who earn more than $100,000 annually, are not considered exempt, but may be exempt if they customarily or regularly perform any one or more of the exempt duties or responsibilities of an executive, administrative, or professional employee: earn at least $455 per week paid on a salary or fee basis; and have the primary duty of performing office or non-manual work. As stated, the $100,000 per year salary must include at least $455 per week in base salary, but the remaining amount would be considered �total annual compensation.� Total annual compensation may include commissions, nondiscretionary bonuses and other nondiscretionary compensation. It does not include benefits (e.g. retirement contributions, payment for medical insurance, etc.).

In addition to meeting the salary basis test for each classification: executive, administrative, learned and creative professional, outside sales and computer professional, each individual within a job must be able to pass a duties test in order to determine if they are exempt from overtime regulations. Example: An executive exemption requires that the employee manage an enterprise or a recognized department or subdivision, customarily and regularly direct the work of two or more other employees, and have the authority to hire or fire other employees (or whose recommendation as to hiring, firing, promotion, or other change of status of other employees is given a particular weight. The key here is that the employee must not only meet the salary basis test, but also have to be able to do all of the above mentioned executive-related duties in order to be exempt from overtime regulations under the FLSA. There are similar guidelines for the administrative, learned and creative professional, computer professional, and outside sales exemptions as well.

So, what are the proposed changes? The proposed rule would raise the salary exemption level to the 40th percentile of weekly earnings for full-time salaried workers as well as seek comment on how to change and adapt the �salary duties test� to determine which employees are eligible for the exemption. Using data from 2013, the salary exemption would raise from $455 per week to $921 per week. However, the DOL anticipates that by 2016, this number would increase to $970 per week. HCEs, those who make over $100,000 a year and less than $122,148 may be eligible for overtime if they meet the minimal HCE test, but not the standard duties test.

The comment period ended on September 4, 2015, and a final ruling will be issued sometime thereafter, taking effect 30-90 days from issuance. There is a high probability that this will be effective for employers in early 2016. So, employers should update their overtime policies and revisit employee classifications internally as soon as possible to be able to comply with the eventual overtime rule as directed.

Remember, the FLSA does not classify groups of jobs, it requires that employers review each employee within their organization with regards to compliance with the FLSA. If you need assistance with how to classify your employees, please don�t hesitate to contact us. We have experience conducting FLSA audits for employers of all sizes.

Authored by: Kristen Deutsch, M.B.A., CCP, New Focus HR. Reprinted with permission. For additional information on this topic, visit

New Standards for ICC Tests

Starting January 1, 2016, the ICC/NAFED exams will reference the following standards.

FE: Certified Portable Fire Extinguisher Technician
� 2013 NFPA 10, Standard for Portable Fire Extinguishers
� CFR49 100-185
� Fire and Fire Extinguishment: A Brief Guide to Fire Chemistry and Extinguishment Theory for Fire Equipment Service Technicians

FN: Pre-engineered Industrial Fire Extinguishing System Technician
� 2013 NFPA 17, Standard for Dry Chemical Extinguishing Systems
� 2012 NFPA 2001, Standard on Clean Agent Fire Extinguishing Systems
� 2011 NFPA 33, Standard for Spray Application Using Flammable or Combustible Materials
� 2015 NFPA 34, Standard for Dipping and Coating Processes Using Flammable or Combustible Materials
� Fire and Fire Extinguishment: A Brief Guide to Fire Chemistry and Extinguishment Theory for Fire Equipment Service Technicians

FK: Pre-engineered Kitchen Fire Extinguishing System Technician
� 2013 NFPA 17A, Standard for Wet Chemical Extinguishing Systems
� 2014 NFPA 96, Standard for Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking Operations
� Fire and Fire Extinguishment: A Brief Guide to Fire Chemistry and Extinguishment Theory for Fire Equipment Service Technicians

FEMA Releases New Educational Video

The Fire Equipment Manufacturers� Association (FEMA) has released a new video to train building owners on the proper use of fire extinguishers. The video, titled "A Building Owners� Guide to Using Portable Fire Extinguishers," supports the association�s mission to save lives and protect property through fire safety education.

�Fire extinguishers are only effective if people are prepared, confident and know how to use them,� said William Vegso, president of FEMA. �The Fire Equipment Manufacturers� Association produced this short video as a quick and easy way to ensure building owners receive accurate instructions for using fire extinguishers and make sure building owners and occupants remain safe in the event of a fire emergency.�

The fire extinguisher training video can be viewed and shared via YouTube and SlideShare. This is the fifth educational video created and posted on FEMA�s YouTube and SlideShare accounts. Other educational videos include: How to Use a Portable Fire Extinguisher, Your First Defense When Disaster Strikes (NFPA 1126), UL300 � Protecting Commercial Restaurant Kitchens, and Standpipe Rack Hose System for Fire Protection in Commercial Buildings.


DOT Train-the-Trainer
Fall Training

October 15, 2015
Orlando, Florida
Marriott Courtyard - Orlando Airport

October 29, 2015
Bloomington, MN
Holiday Inn Bloomington, Airport South

Look for additional seminars in Spring 2016. The day before the Las Vegas conference, March 2, and the day before the Atlantic City conference, April 6, will host a pre-conference DOT Train-the-Trainer seminar. There will also be a DOT seminar in conjunction with FEDOT (Fire Equipment Distributors of Texas) in March or April.