New Overtime Threshold Proposed…The U.S. Labor Department has announced its long-awaited proposed overtime threshold, raising the minimum salary exemption to $35,308 per year. Currently, employees with an annual salary below $23,660 must be paid overtime if they work more than 40 hours per week. Workers making less than the $35,308 threshold would automatically be eligible for time-and-a-half pay on hours worked beyond 40 each week. The department is seeking public comment on the proposal. The new proposal is below what the Obama administration proposed in 2017, $47,476 a year, which was eventually dismissed by a federal judge.
Bills to Ban Cashless Stores Introduced…U.S. Reps. David Cicilline (D-RI) and U.S. Rep. Donald Payne (D-NJ) have introduced bills that would force brick-and-mortar retail stores, including restaurants, to accept cash. The legislation comes amid growing backlash against retailers moving to only accept card or electronic payments that are believed by some to discriminate against lower income individuals. The Cash Should Always Be Honored Act (H.R. 2630), authored by Rep. Cicilline, would authorize the Federal Trade Commission to enforce the prohibition on cashless stores. Rep. Payne’s bill, the Payment Choice Act (H. R. 2650), allows consumers to sue stores that do not accept cash, and sets fines of $2,500 for a first offense and $5,000 for subsequent violations. Attorneys general could intervene in civil cases brought against offending companies.