Timber Harvesting Company Cannot Escape Overtime Liability, But Commute and Meal Break Time Should Not Have Been Included, Sixth Circuit Holds

Rejecting employer Timberline South’s argument, among others, that FLSA coverage did not apply because all of its timber harvesting occurred only within one state, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals nevertheless concluded that the commuting and meal break times should not have been included in the trial court’s calculation of overtime damages. Secretary of Labor v. Timberline South, LLC, 920 F.3d 1065 (6th Cir. 2019). The Sixth Circuit includes the federal courts in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.

In Timberline, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) brought a collective action against the company, alleging violations of the overtime and recordkeeping provisions of the FLSA. Following discovery, the district court granted summary judgment in favor of the DOL, awarding nearly $440,000 in unpaid overtime and an equal amount in liquidated damages. Timberline appealed the district court’s decision on several grounds.

First, the company argued that it was not subject to FLSA coverage because it harvests timber only in Michigan; it transports the timber to mills located only in Michigan; its contracts included cutting timber only in Michigan; and its heavy equipment was purchased from Michigan dealers. Therefore, asserted the company, it was not engaged in interstate commerce, a prerequisite to FLSA coverage. Rejecting that argument, the Sixth Circuit noted that Timberline’s large trucks and other heavy equipment were manufactured outside of Michigan, and therefore the company’s employees “handled” goods or materials produced in commerce. Similarly, in an issue of first impression in the Sixth Circuit, the Court of Appeals concurred with the Eleventh Circuit’s broad definition of the term “materials” under the FLSA, to mean not just raw components such as plastic or metal, but to encompass “the tools or other articles necessary for doing or making something.” Thus, because Timberline was using materials – i.e. its heavy equipment – in a manner significant to its operations (as opposed to the incidental use of materials such as pens, paper and other office consumables), the company was subject to FLSA coverage.

Next, the company contended that even if some of its employees were subject to the FLSA, others – its drivers – were exempt because they fell under the Motor Carrier Act (MCA), given that Timberline’s trucks are operated under U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) registration numbers, its drivers maintain commercial driver’s licenses, and Timberline was involved in “a practical continuity of movement” in interstate commerce because its timber “is an ingredient in the goods manufactured by the mills to which it is delivered.” Rejecting these arguments, the Sixth Circuit noted that the company had presented no evidence that their timber was eventually shipped in interstate commerce. Moreover, the fact that the timber would have been altered (e.g. converted into paper products) before crossing state lines weighed against an MCA exemption. In addition, the Sixth Circuit previously had ruled that the mere maintenance of a commercial drivers’ license and/or registering vehicles with the DOT was an insufficient basis for applying the exemption.

Interestingly, in so holding the Sixth Circuit erred in stating that the FLSA’s overtime exemptions “are narrowly construed against the employer,” as this standard unequivocally was rejected, in favor of a “fair reading” of the Act’s exemptions, by the U.S. Supreme Court last year in Encino Motorcars, LLC v. Navarro, 136 S. Ct. 2117 (2018). More recently, the Sixth Circuit acknowledged the current “fair reading” standard in Holt v. City of Battle Creek, 2019 U.S App. LEXIS 16561 (6th Cir. June 3, 2019), concluding that this standard was to be applied broadly to FLSA exemptions and was not limited to the particular exemption at issue in Encino Motorcars.

Despite affirming the district court’s finding of overtime liability, the Sixth Circuit agreed with the company that the time employees spent commuting from home to work or for meal periods should not have been included in the damages calculation. Citing the regulations and cases interpreting the Portal to Portal Act, 29 U.S.C. § 254, the Court of Appeals held that an employer cannot be found liable to pay overtime based on regular commute time and other “non-work” time such as meal breaks, even if the employer has a custom or practice to pay for such otherwise non-compensable time. Accordingly, the case was sent back to the trial court for a recalculation of damages.

Finally, the company asserted that liquidated damages were inappropriate because the company’s director had reasonably and in good faith relied on advice from the predecessor company’s accountant – that logging companies are exempt from the FLSA’s overtime provisions – and because the company’s pay structure, which resulted in higher-than-average compensation for its employees, made an award of liquidated damages “particularly unjust.” Rejecting these arguments, the Sixth Circuit noted that the director never sought any advice or conducted any research to support his conclusion that the MCA exemption applied, despite knowing that his drivers never crossed state lines, and never discussed the duties of any particular employee with the accountant such that the accountant (who admittedly was not an FLSA expert) could have provided advice as to the applicability of any exemption. Moreover, held the Court of Appeals, the company’s compensation of its employees might be relevant to the amount of liquidated damages, but that comes into play only if the employer has established the “good faith” and “reasonable grounds” elements for determining that its employees were exempt from overtime. As Timberline had failed to satisfy these elements, the level of its employees’ pay was irrelevant.

If you have any questions about the issues discussed in this case or any other wage and hour questions, please consult the Jackson Lewis attorney(s) with whom you regularly work.

Colorado Lifts Ban on Local Minimum Wage Ordinances – With Restrictions

Repealing a 20-year old prohibition on local enactment of minimum wage ordinances, on May 28, 2019, Governor Jared Polis signed House Bill 1210 allowing, with certain restrictions, such local ordinances. Under H.B. 1210, no more than 10 percent of Colorado’s local jurisdictions may enact local minimum wage rates and any such rates cannot increase by more than 15 percent annually. Under the law, several adjoining communities may join to enact regional minimum wage rates.

In addition, any jurisdiction that enacts a local minimum wage rate is required to provide a tip credit for employees of any business “that prepares and offers for sale food or beverages for consumption either on or off the premises,” equal to the tip credit provided in the state’s constitution. Currently, the minimum wage in Colorado is $11.10 per hour (scheduled to increase to $12.00 per hour on January 1, 2020) and the statewide minimum wage for tipped employees is $8.08.

The new law allows local jurisdictions to enact minimum wage ordinances beginning in 2020, with an effective date on or after January 1, 2021. To enforce its local minimum wage, the city, county or other governmental entity may adopt provisions creating a private right of action that includes fines, penalties, actual (regular and overtime) damages, liquidated damages, interest, costs, attorney’s fees, and any other “appropriate or equitable relief.”

With the repeal of its local minimum wage preemption law, Colorado bucks the recent trend of states that have enacted such prohibitions. Currently, about one-half of the states have such local preemption laws.

For more information on H.B. 1210 or any other wage and hour issue, please contact the Jackson Lewis attorney(s) with whom you regularly work.

Connecticut to Join the Increasing Number of States Enacting a $15 Minimum Wage Law

With Governor Ed Lamont pledging to sign it into law, Connecticut will become the latest state to pass a $15.00 per hour minimum wage bill joining, among other states, its Northeast neighbors New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts, in doing so.

Under the Connecticut law, the state’s current minimum wage of $10.10 per hour will rise to $11.00 per hour on October 1, 2019; to $12.00 per hour on September 1, 2020; to $13.00 per hour on August 1, 2021; to $14.00 per hour on July 1, 2022; and finally to $15.00 per hour on June 1, 2023. On January 1 of each year thereafter, the minimum wage will be adjusted by the percent change in the federal Employment Cost Index (ECI) for all civilian workers’ salaries and wages for the one-year period ending on June 30 of the previous year.

The new law also freezes at their current levels the sub-minimum hourly cash wage that hospitality employers must pay employees who customarily receive tips. That sub-minimum cash wage is $6.38 per hour for hotel and restaurant staff and $8.23 per hour for bartenders. Thus, to the extent that a tipped employee’s combination of minimum cash wages and tips fails to meet the standard hourly minimum wages for a given week, the employer will have to make up the difference. Finally, the previous law allowed employers to pay a lower “training wage” for learners and beginners, as well as a “youth wage” for employees under the age of 18, at a rate of no less than 85% of the standard minimum wage for the first 90 days of their employment. The new law eliminates the training wage, while retaining the youth wage for employees under age 18, unless such minors are emancipated.

At the federal level, meanwhile, a bill introduced by Democratic leaders at the beginning of 2019, to gradually increase the federal minimum wage to $15.00 per hour, has gained little traction, while Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta recently testified before a Senate budget committee that he does not believe an increase in the federal minimum ($7.25 since 2009) is appropriate at this time.

Jackson Lewis will continue to monitor these and other wage and hour issues. If you have any questions, please contact the Jackson Lewis attorney(s) with whom you regularly work.

Indiana Law Now Allows Paycheck Deductions for Uniform Rentals

Under an amendment to the state’s wage deduction statute, employers in Indiana may now deduct from an employee’s paycheck the rental cost of uniform shirts, pants, and other job-related clothing. The amendment, Senate Bill 99, was signed by Governor Eric Holcomb on May 1, 2019, and went into effect immediately. Michael Padgett, a Principal in the Indianapolis office of Jackson Lewis, testified before the Senate on behalf of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce in support of the amendment.

Indiana has a very restrictive wage deduction statute that only permits deductions if they are part of a written agreement by both the employer and employee, are personally signed by the employee, and are revocable at any time by the employee. In addition, a deduction may only be made for one of the reasons listed in the statute, such as health insurance premiums and union dues. Two common items that, until recently, were not listed among the allowable deductions were the cost of employee uniforms and the purchase of tools and equipment needed by an employee to complete his or her job. In 2015, the Indiana legislature added the purchase of uniforms and job-required equipment to the list of permissible deductions but did not include the costs of uniform rental, despite the fact that such costs routinely were deducted from paychecks by employers, particularly when the uniforms were provided by a third-party service.

Under the newly-enacted amendment, uniform rental likewise may be deducted from an employee’s wages, with a cap of either $2500 annually or five percent of the employee’s weekly disposable earnings, whichever is less. However, the cost of personal protective equipment required by federal rules may not be deducted.

Furthermore, and in what certainly will be a sigh of relief to employers facing potential pre-amendment violations, the amendment legalizes any deduction agreed upon prior to the amendment’s effective date, if it meets the above requirements and the amount deducted was either retained by the employer and credited upon an indebtedness owing to the employer by the employee, or was paid by the employer.

If you have any questions about this law or any other wage and hour questions, please contact the Jackson Lewis attorney(s) with whom you regularly work.

DOL Extends Comment Periods for Proposed Joint Employer and Regular Rate Regulations

Citing the interest expressed by “law firms, unions, and advocacy organizations, among others,” the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has extended the period for public comment on recently-issued Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding amendments to the regulations concerning determination of the “regular rate” of pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and to amendments clarifying what constitutes a “joint employer” under the Act.

The NPRM regarding the regular rate was published on March 29, 2019 and the NPRM regarding joint employers was published on April 9, 2019, both with 60-day public comment periods. With the just-announced extensions, the new deadline for submitting comments regarding the proposed regular rate rulemaking will be June 12, 2019 and the deadline for comments regarding the proposed joint employer regulations will be June 25, 2019.

An in-depth discussion of both proposed rulemaking efforts may be found on the Jackson Lewis website, here (Regular Rate) and here (Joint Employer).

Notably, the DOL has not announced a similar extension of the comment period for the NPRM it recently issue on a proposed increase in the salary level requirements for the white collar exemptions. That comment period currently is scheduled to expire on May 21, 2019.

If you have any questions about these proposed regulatory changes or any other wage and hour questions, please contact the Jackson Lewis attorney(s) with whom you regularly work.

California’s “ABC” Test for Independent Contractor Analysis to be Applied Retroactively, Ninth Circuit Holds

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has dealt California employers another setback when responding to claims of misclassification of independent contractor status for violations of the Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Order (“IWC Wage Orders”), holding that the State’s recently-adopted “ABC” test must be applied retroactively. Vazquez v. Jan-Pro Franchising Int’l, Inc., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 13237 (9th Cir. May 2, 2019).   Almost exactly a year earlier, the California Supreme Court, in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County, 416 P.3d 1 (Cal. 2018), broadened the definition of “employee” in the context of the IWC Wage Orders when undertaking the employee-versus-independent contractor analysis, by adopting what commonly is known as the ABC test. Under that standard, to establish that an individual is in fact an independent contractor, an employer must prove that:

A: The work must be free from the control and direction of the company in connection with the performance of the work, both under the contract for performance of the work and in fact;

B: The worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the company’s business; and,

C: The worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation or business of the same nature as that involved in the work performed.

With the retroactive application of the more employee-friendly ABC test, the Dynamex decision will have an even more  significant impact on companies throughout California that rely on workforce configurations using independent contractors.

A detailed discussion of the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Vazquez may be found here,  https://www.jacksonlewis.com/publication/california-s-abc-test-independent-contractor-analysis-be-applied-retroactively

while a discussion of last year’s Dynamex decision may be found here:


If you have any questions about these decisions or any wage and hour question, please consult the Jackson Lewis attorney(s) with whom you regularly work.

Wisconsin Supreme Court Holds State Law Precludes Pay for Normal Commute Time in Employer-Provided Vehicles

Reversing a decision of the lower appellate court, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has held that state law does not require employers to pay employees for routine commute time driving company-provided vehicles between the employees’ homes and their assigned jobsites. Kieninger v. Crown Equipment Corp., 2019 WI 27 , 2019 Wisc. LEXIS 123 (Mar. 20, 2019).  The Supreme Court held that its conclusion was based on a reasonable interpretation of the regulations governing Wisconsin’s wage and hour laws. This is particularly notable because the Wisconsin legislature has not adopted the language of the Employee Commuting Flexibility Act (EFCA), which in 1996 established that normal commute time, even when driving an employer-provided vehicle, is not compensable under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Specifically, under the applicable regulations, “wages accrue when employees are engaged in ‘physical or mental exertion (whether burdensome or not) controlled or required by the employer and pursued necessarily and primarily for the benefit of the employer’s business.’”  Noted the Supreme Court (citing Wis. Admin. Code § DWD 272.12(1)(a)1). Moreover, “[t]hese exertions take place within a ‘workday,’ which comprises [] the period between the time on any particular workday at which such employee commences their principal activity or activities and the time on any particular workday at which they cease such principal activity or activities’” and “the ‘principal activities’ of which a workday consists ‘include[] all activities which are an integral part of a principal activity.’” (citing Wis. Admin. Code § DWD 272.12(2)(e)1). To that end, “[t]asks ‘integral’ to a principal activity encompass ‘those closely related activities which are indispensable to its performance.’” (citing Wis. Admin. Code § DWD 272.12(2)(e)1.c).

“Distilling this guidance into a workable framework,” noted the Supreme Court, “tells us that an employee’s activity is compensable if it takes place during a workday (that is, it is part of the employee’s principal activities, or is closely related and indispensable to them), it involves physical or mental exertion controlled or required by the employer, and it is necessarily and primarily done for the benefit of the employer’s business.” The regulations themselves clearly establish that normal commuting from home to work and back in an employee’s vehicle is not compensable, and “[w]hether the employee is in a personal or a company vehicle, he is doing the exact same thing, and no one disputes that the time at issue would not be compensable if [the plaintiff] had driven his own automobile.”

Moreover, the mere fact that the employee may be carrying tools in the employer-provided vehicle necessary to perform his principal job activities is an insufficient basis to convert the commute time into compensable work time, as such circumstances would “transform[] virtually every commute into a wage-earning event.” If that were the case, the mere fact that the employee is transporting himself to work would qualify as compensable time because “conveying an employee’s physical and mental resources to the office is integral and indispensable to a principal activity, to wit, whatever they were hired to do.” The Supreme Court distinguished this employee’s situation (direct travel from home to worksite) from cases in which an employee is required to make a two-leg journey, first from home to an employer-designated meeting place to pick up tools and then from the meeting place to the job site. The applicable regulations require that the second leg of that journey is compensable. The Supreme Court noted that those regulations describe the circumstances of employees who do not commute in an employer-owned vehicle, which is the opposite of the situation the employee in this case was faced with. Thus, held the Supreme Court, “[w]e cannot conclude that conveying company tools from an employee’s home to his jobsite, without more, makes his travel time ‘an integral part of a principal activity’ . . . or a ‘closely related’ activity that is ‘indispensable to its performance’ within the meaning of [the applicable regulations]” and such commute time is, therefore, non-compensable.

If you have any questions about this decision or any other wage and hour questions, please contact the Jackson Lewis attorney(s) with whom you regularly work.

Supreme Court Holds Availability of Class Claims Must be Expressly Declared in Arbitration Agreements

Class action arbitration is such a departure from ordinary, bilateral arbitration of individual disputes that courts may compel class action arbitration only where the parties expressly declare their intention to be bound by such actions in their arbitration agreement, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in a 5-4 decision. Lamps Plus, Inc. v. Varela, No. 17-988 (Apr. 24, 2019). “Courts may not infer from an ambiguous agreement that parties have consented to arbitrate on a classwide basis,” held the Court.

As with last year’s holding in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis (discussed here), in which the Court upheld the validity of class and collective action waivers in arbitration agreements, today’s ruling provides further protection for employers intending to resolve employment-related disputes on an individual basis.

A full discussion of the Varela case and the Court’s holding may be found on the Jackson Lewis website, here.

When an FLSA Blended Rate Improperly Acts as a Regular Rate: A Case in Point

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) generally requires employers to pay non-exempt employees overtime pay at one and one-half times their “regular rate” of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a given workweek. The regular rate is the result of a math equation: The employee’s total compensation (with a few defined exceptions) paid by the employer during the workweek in question, divided by the total number of hours worked during that week.

The FLSA was designed specifically so that overtime hours are more costly to the employer than the first 40 hours in a week. The Act was passed in the midst of the Great Depression, when unemployment was high, so by increasing the cost of overtime hours, Congress intended to give employers a financial incentive to hire more employees and spread the work around. Thus, the FLSA is intentionally hostile to non-traditional compensation systems that attempt to blur the lines between straight time and overtime hours.

So, what happens when an employer tries to arrange it so that all hours effectively cost the same? In other words, may an employer satisfy the FLSA’s overtime obligation by blending the non-overtime rate with the overtime rate and paying that rate for all hours worked during the week? “No,” the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals recently reaffirmed. U.S. Dep’t of Labor v. Fire & Safety Investigation Consulting Servs., LLC, 915 F.3d 277 (4th Cir. 2019).

In Fire & Safety, the employer provides on-site fire investigation consultants to its clients in the oil and gas industry. The consultants were regularly scheduled to work a “hitch” of 12 hours per day for two full calendar weeks, followed by two full calendar weeks off. Thus, over the course of a full hitch, the employee worked 168 hours in two workweeks, or 84 hours per week. Initially, for a given workweek consultants were paid a regular rate for the first 40 hours of the week and one and one-half times that rate for all hours over 40. Then, for about a two year period, the company used a different pay system, based on a blended “hitch rate.” Under that system, if a consultant worked a full two-week hitch, he or she was paid a fixed sum, purportedly comprised of a regular rate for the first 40 hours of each week and an overtime rate of one and one-half times the regular rate for the next 44 hours of each week.

So far, so good.  However, if a consultant worked less than a full 168-hour hitch – even one involving less than 40 hours during one or both weeks – the company reduced their pay based on a “blended rate.” The company calculated the “blended rate” by dividing the individual’s fixed, full-hitch pay by 168 and then multiplying that rate by the number of hours actually worked during the two-week period. For each hour less than 168 that they worked in a hitch, the consultant’s compensation was reduced by the hourly “blended rate.” In other words, the employer’s blended rate was calculated in the same manner as the FLSA requires the regular rate to be calculated, even if an employee worked no overtime hours. Following an anonymous complaint filed by one of the consultants, the U.S. Department of Labor brought suit alleging failure to properly pay overtime.

More than 70 years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court held that this kind of compensation method likely fails to comply with the overtime requirements of the FLSA, because it blurs the lines between overtime and non-overtime hours. “The payment of ‘overtime’ compensation for non-overtime work raises strong doubt as to the integrity of the hourly rate upon the basis of which the ‘overtime’ compensation is calculated,” and is “evidence of an attempt to pay a pro-rata share of the weekly wage.” 149 Madison Ave. Corp. v. Asselta, 331 U.S. 199, 205 (1947). Although such systems may appear to pay greater compensation for non-overtime hours worked, in reality they “fail to account for the actual number of regular and overtime hours that an employee works [and] are impermissible replacements for traditional overtime pay rates under the FLSA.” Fire & Safety, 915 F.3d at 282 (citing Lopez v. Genter’s Detailing, Inc., 511 Fed. Appx. 374, 375 (5th Cir. 2013)).

The example posed in the Fourth Circuit’s opinion demonstrates the potential flaw in applying such a blended rate. One consultant’s regular hourly rate was $23.58. If he worked a full hitch, his compensation could be determined by adding his regular rate of $23.58 per hour times the 80 non-overtime hours of the hitch, to his overtime rate of $35.37 per hour (i.e. $23.58 x 1.5) for the 88 overtime hours of the hitch, for a rounded total “hitch rate” of $5,000. His blended rate was then calculated by dividing the $5,000 hitch rate by 168 hours, or $29.76.

When the consultant worked less than a full hitch, he was paid his blended rate times the number of hours actually worked. In the Fourth Circuit’s example, during one pay period the consultant worked only six 12-hour days (72 hours total) during the two-week hitch period. If his regular rate legitimately was $23.58 per hour and, as set forth in Asselta, his pay was supposed to reflect 40 hours at the regular rate and 32 hours at the overtime rate, he should have been paid ($23.58)(40) + ($35.37)(32) = $2,075.04. But because the blended rate was used, he was paid ($29.76)(72) = $2,142.86. So, if it appears he was paid more than required by the law, why is that a problem?

Because that appearance is illusory. If an employee works a fixed number of overtime hours each week, the FLSA regulations do allow paying that employee for all non-overtime hours plus a fixed sum for overtime (calculated by multiplying the overtime rate by the number of overtime hours regularly worked). 29 C.F.R. § 778.309. This regulation is not an exception to the overtime rule, but is instead merely recognition of the mathematical fact that multiplying the same fixed number of overtime hours by the same regular rate will always yield the same result. Not surprisingly, this provision does not apply when an employee works a varying number of overtime hours. In the latter case, Asselta mandates that the regular rate is based on the number of hours actually worked in a workweek and that the overtime rate is 1.5 times the regular rate.

Thus, because the consultants here did not work a fixed number of overtime hours, the employer was improperly substituting its blended rate for the regular rate. Using the above example, the consultant’s actual regular rate was ($2,142.86 ÷ 72) = $29.76 per hour, the same rate the company used as a blended rate. Therefore, his non-overtime pay should have been ($29.76)(40) = $1,190.48, and his overtime pay should have been ($29.76)(1.5)(32) = $1,428.57, for a total of $2,619.05. Instead, he was paid nearly $500 less for that pay period. As a result of the employer’s miscalculation of overtime pay due, the Fourth Circuit upheld the trial court’s award of more than $1.5 million to the DOL.

The Fourth Circuit’s opinion is in line with the holdings of similar cases from the Second and Fifth Circuits applying Asselta, see Lopez, 511 Fed. Appx. 374; Adams v. Department of Juvenile Justice, 143 F.3d 61 (2d Cir. 1998), and demonstrates the risks employers assume when undertaking “blended” or other non-traditional compensation schemes. If you have any questions about the proper calculation of overtime under the FLSA, or any other wage and hour questions, please contact the Jackson Lewis attorney(s) with whom you regularly work.

Comment Period Now Underway for New DOL Overtime Rule

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a new proposed rule that intends to raise the annual minimum salary requirements for the FLSA’s “white collar” (executive, administrative, and professional) overtime exemptions to $35,308 ($679 per week), up from the current annual minimum of $23,660 ($455 per week).  A full discussion of this and other aspects of the new proposed rule can be found here.

On March 21, 2019, the proposed rule was formally published in the Federal Register, signaling the beginning of a 60-day period (ending May 21, 2019) during which employers, employee representatives and others in the public may submit comments on the rule.  Following the commentary period, a final rule will be published and, based on statements set forth in the proposed rule, the DOL anticipates that the final rule will become effective on January 1, 2020.

Jackson Lewis will continue to monitor developments concerning the new overtime rule.  In the meantime, if you have any questions about the forthcoming rule, including how to navigate through the available options for employees affected by the proposed salary increase, please contact the Jackson Lewis attorney(s) with whom you regularly work.