Don’t mistake the current surge toward elevating minimum wages as the big issue for business and the greatest impact on the economy. It’s pennies compared to the new rules that legally exempt employees from wage and hour rules.

Most salaried employees are improperly classified. Seriously, check the rules, if you’re salaried. Do you really qualify? Are your competitors following the rules? How about your customers if you’re selling B2B?

Employers get away with simply designating workers as salaried, working them long hours and ignoring the rules. This happens in all sorts of manufacturing and service industries where the pay is well above minimum wage.

If the new rules ever get enforced, payroll costs will balloon overnight; and it will extend way beyond the food service and hospitality industries.

It will be a real game changer and ripple way beyond payroll numbers. It will impact costs for every industry at every level.

It’s coming almost silently. Not much news coverage. No protestors picketing Starbucks or Burger King claiming racial, ethnic or gender victim status. Oh, and it’s not new law but altered regulations.

If you’re running a company, do a quick calculation. Add ten to twenty-five percent to your payroll costs. How’s the bottom line look now?

Maybe it will level the playing field? Those who’ve followed the law all along won’t be so easily undercut by the competition. I sure hope so.