Facility cleaning managers already have a lot on their plates, but they can still expect to see quite a few changes when it comes to paying their staff and their department bottom line.

Those of you in California and New York are probably more than aware of the minimum wage increases coming your way. As further explained on page 7, minimum wage in these states is rising to $15 an hour — a trend that may slowly spread to other states, over time. There is no doubt these salary jumps are going to impact departmental budgets and staffing levels throughout the industry.

In other regulatory news, the U.S. Department of Labor has proposed revisions to overtime directives as outlined in the Fair Labor Standards Act. The ruling intends to increase the minimum salary threshold to qualify as an exempt employee from the current rate of $455 per week ($23,660 annually), to $970 per week ($50,440 annually).

In other words, in adhering to the new rule, salaried employees that work more than 40 hours in any given week, and make less than the proposed $970, will be legally entitled to overtime pay. Currently, and since the mid 1970s, this is a requirement only if workers make less than $455 a week. The jump is expected to impact roughly 5 million employees nationwide.

A final rule is expected in the coming weeks, after which, facility cleaning managers will be forced to decide one of two things: Raise worker salaries to above the $970/week threshold to avoid overtime pay, or limit workers to a strict 40-hour work week. The alternative would be a big hit to any departmental budget.

Restricting employee overtime isn’t necessarily a bad decision anyway. Not only does it help control your departmental bottom line, but it could go a long way in protecting the staff. As outlined in our cover story, cleaning is a physically demanding job and overworked staff can result in extreme fatigue. An exhausted staff can lead to loss in productivity, accidents, injuries and even death.