We have been fielding a number of calls lately regarding Executive Orders signed by President Obama.  You must first understand that an Executive Order only affects Federal Laws and the interpretation of regulations for Federal workers and those who have contracts with the Federal government.  Private businesses are, for the most part, exempt from these orders.  So, your minimum wage will not be affected by an Executive Order unless your state takes all of their labor law from the Federal Department of Labor.

The same applies to the order regarding overtime.  If your company is in California, for example, you already have a series of Wage Orders and Labor Regulations that further define exempt and non-exempt status of employees.  The Federal Law is not as defining of work status in regards to overtime law.  Many States follow Federal Labor law but institute their own standards for overtime and minimum wages. In general, the rule is the law that is more favorable to the employee is the prevailing law.  Sometimes, this can create a conflict.

For instance, is an employee better served by a law that allows them to work four 10 hour days instead of requiring only 8 hours in a day or they incur overtime.  Is the employee better off working 4 days vs 5 days for the same amount of hours?

The take-away from this message is that these Executive Orders do not affect most of you, but beware that States are following what is happening on a Federal level and often adjust in accordance.

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