Tag Archives: California

Is The Minimum Required Salary For Exempt Employees Increasing In Your State In 2019?

While the FLSA minimum salary requirements for “white collar” employees (executive, administrative, or professional employees) is not changing in 2019 (at least not until/unless the Department of Labor announces a new Overtime Rule), there are several states where the minimum salary requirements for exempt employees is increasing in 2019 (December 31, 2018 for New York employers).

These increases (i.e. in Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, New York, and Oregon) are occurring because the minimum exempt salary rates for these employees (as established under state law) are scheduled to increase in 2018 (December 31st for New York employers).

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the minimum salary requirements for white collar employees is as follows:

Payment Schedule Minimum Salary
Weekly $455
Bi-Weekly $910
Semi-Monthly $985.83
Monthly $1,971.66
Annual $23,660

The below table sets forth the changes to the minimum salary requirements for exempt employees in these states.  In those instances where the state minimum salary requirements are lower than the above-listed FLSA requirements, the higher salary threshold applies for employers who are subject to FLSA in order for employees to qualify for an exemption under the FLSA.

Alaska
Applicable Law: An individual employed in a bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity shall be compensated on a salary or fee basis at a rate of not less than two times the state minimum wage for the first 40 hours of employment each week, exclusive of board or lodging that is furnished by the individual’s employer. Alaska Stat. § 23.10.055(b).

 Since Alaska’s minimum wage is increasing to $9.89 per hour starting January 1, 2019, the minimum salary for exempt employees is increasing as follows:

Payment Schedule 2018 Minimum Salary 2019 Minimum Salary
Weekly $787.20 $791.20
Bi-Weekly $1,574.40 $1,582.40
Semi-Monthly $1,705.60 $1,714.27
Monthly $3,411.20 $3,428.53
Annual $40,768 $41,142.40
California
Applicable Law: Overtime-exempt executive, administrative and professional employees must earn a monthly salary equivalent to at least two times the state minimum wage for full-time employment. IWC Wage Orders.

 Since California’s minimum wage is increasing to $11.00 per hour (for employers with 25 or less employees) and $12.00 per hour (for employers with 26 or more employees) starting January 1, 2019, the minimum salary for exempt employees is increasing as follows:

Small Employers (25 or less employees)
Payment Schedule 2018 Minimum Salary 2019 Minimum Salary
Weekly $840 $880
Bi-Weekly $1,680 $1,760
Semi-Monthly $1,820 $1,906.67
Monthly $3,640 $3, 813.34
Annual $43,680 $45,760
Large Employers (26 or more employees)
Payment Schedule 2018 Minimum Salary 2019 Minimum Salary
Weekly $880 $960
Bi-Weekly $1,760 $1,920
Semi-Monthly $1,906.67 $2,080
Monthly $3,813.34 $4,160
Annual $45,760 $49,920
Colorado**
Applicable Law: Exempt executive/supervisory employees must be a salaried employee earning in excess of the equivalent of the minimum wage for all hours the employee worked in a workweek. Colorado Minimum Wage Order.

Note: The administrative and professional exemptions only require that an employee be a “salaried individual” and does not provide a minimum salary requirement.

 Since Colorado’s minimum wage is increasing to $11.10 per hour starting January 1, 2019, the minimum salary for exempt executive/supervisory employees is increasing as follows:

Payment Schedule 2018 Minimum Salary* 2019 Minimum Salary*
Weekly $408 $444
Bi-Weekly $816 $888
Semi-Monthly $884 $962
Monthly $1,768 $1,924
Annual $21,216 $23,088
* These numbers are based on the employee working 40 hours per week.  If the employee works more than 40 hours per week, the required pay will be greater.
** In order for an executive employee to meet the minimum salary requirement under the FLSA, the employee will need to be paid the FLSA minimum salary.  However, once that employee works over 41 hours in a week, the state minimum wage salary requirement will apply.
Maine
Applicable Law: The minimum salary requirement to qualify for an executive, professional or administrative exemption is 3,000 times the Maine minimum hourly wage or the minimum salary required by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, whichever is higher. 26 M.R.S 663(3)(K).

 Currently, the state threshold is higher than the FLSA threshold; therefore, the state threshold applies.

Since Maine’s minimum wage is increasing to $11.00 per hour starting January 1, 2019, the minimum salary for exempt employees is increasing as follows:

Payment Schedule 2018 Minimum Salary 2019 Minimum Salary
Weekly $576.92 $634.61
Bi-Weekly $1,153.84 $1, 269.23
Semi-Monthly $1,250 $1,375
Monthly $2,500 $2,750
Annual $30,000 $33,000
New York – INCREASES 12/31/2018
Applicable Law: Exempt executive and administrative employees must be paid at least the minimum salary set forth in the applicable New York Wage Orders.

 Note: There is no salary basis test for professional employees under New York law.

Under the amendments to the New York Wage Orders, the minimum salary for exempt executive and administrative employees is increasing on December 31, 2018 as follows:

New York City (11 or More Employees)
Payment Schedule Current Minimum Salary Minimum Salary On 12/31/18
Weekly $975 $1,125
Bi-Weekly $1,950 $2,250
Semi-Monthly $2,112.50 $2,437.50
Monthly $4,225 $4,875
Annual $50,700 $58,500
New York City (10 or Fewer Employees)
Payment Schedule Current Minimum Salary Minimum Salary On 12/31/18
Weekly $900 $1,012.50
Bi-Weekly $1,800 $2,025
Semi-Monthly $1,950 $2,193.75
Monthly $3,900 $4,387.50
Annual $46,800 $52,650
Nassau, Suffolk & Westchester Counties
Payment Schedule Current Minimum Salary Minimum Salary On 12/31/18
Weekly $825 $900
Bi-Weekly $1,650 $1,800
Semi-Monthly $1,787.50 $1,950
Monthly $3,575 $3,900
Annual $42,900 $46,800
Remainder of State
Payment Schedule Current Minimum Salary Minimum Salary On 12/31/18
Weekly $780 $832
Bi-Weekly $1,560 $1,664
Semi-Monthly $1,690 $1,802.67
Monthly $3,380 $3,605.34
Annual $40,560 $43,264
Oregon*  – INCREASES 7/1/2019
Applicable Law: The minimum salary requirement to qualify for an executive, professional or administrative exemption is the applicable minimum wage multiplied by 2,080 hours per year and then divided by 12 months. Or. Rev. Stat. § 653.010(9).

 Since Oregon’s minimum wage is increasing to $11.00 per hour (for employers in “nonurban counties”), $12.50 per hour (for employers in the Portland metropolitan area), and $11.25 per hour (for the remainder of the state) starting July 1, 2019, the minimum salary for exempt employees will be increasing as follows:

Nonurban Counties (Baker, Coos, Crook, Curry, Douglas, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Jefferson, Klamath, Lake, Malheur, Morrow, Sherman, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa, and Wheeler counties)
Payment Schedule Current Minimum Salary Minimum Salary On 7/1/19
Weekly $420 $440
Bi-Weekly $840 $880
Semi-Monthly $910 $953.34
Monthly $1,820 $1,906.67
Annual $21,840 $22,880
Portland Metropolitan Area
Payment Schedule Current Minimum Salary Minimum Salary On 7/1/19
Weekly $450 $500
Bi-Weekly $900 $1,000
Semi-Monthly $975 $1, 083.34
Monthly $1,950 $2, 166.67
Annual $23,400 $26,000
Remainder of the State
Payment Schedule Current Minimum Salary Minimum Salary On 7/1/19
Weekly $430 $450
Bi-Weekly $860 $900
Semi-Monthly $931.67 $975
Monthly $1,863.33 $1,950
Annual $22,360 $23,400
NOTE:  Currently, only employers in the Portland metropolitan area must pay the state salary in order for to qualify for an executive, professional or administrative exemption.  All other employers in Oregon must pay the FLSA minimum salary in order for to qualify for an executive, professional or administrative exemption.

While not increasing, the minimum salary requirements to qualify for an executive, professional or administrative exemption is higher than the FLSA threshold in the following states:

Connecticut
Applicable Law: The minimum salary requirement to qualify for an executive, professional or administrative exemption is $475 per week. Regs., Conn. State Agencies § 31-60-14.
Payment Schedule Current Minimum Salary
Weekly $475
Bi-Weekly $950
Semi-Monthly $1,029.17
Monthly $2,058.33
Annual $24,700
Iowa
Applicable Law: The minimum salary requirement to qualify as a “high-salaried” executive, professional or administrative employee (and qualify for an exemption from overtime if the duties test is also met) is $500 per week. 875 Iowa Admin. Code 218.1-218.3.
Payment Schedule Current Minimum Salary
Weekly $500
Bi-Weekly $1,000
Semi-Monthly $1,083.34
Monthly $2,166.67
Annual $26,000

Recommendation for Employers

It is recommended that employers in these states verify that their exempt employees are receiving at least the minimum salary requirement to qualify for the exemption.

Also, please remember that meeting the salary requirement is just one element needed to qualify for an exemption from overtime.  The employee in question must also meet the duties test and the salary basis test.

NEW LAW — Minimum Wage Increases for Certain California Cities

Attention employers in Mountain View and Sunnyvale, California … minimum wage in these cities is increasing on January 1, 2019.

For employers in both Mountain View and Sunnyvale,  minimum wage is increasing from $15.00 to $15.65 per hour on January 1, 2019.

Employers in these cities should prepare for the increase and download the update minimum wage poster available here:

NEW LAW: Berkeley, California’s Minimum Wage to Increase October 1, 2018

Reminder for Berkeley, California employers … on October 1, 2018,  the city Berkeley’s minimum wage increased from $13.75 to $15.00 per hour.

It is recommended that all Berkeley employers verify that their employees are being paid the appropriate minimum wage rate.

NEW LAW: San Diego, California’s Minimum Wage to Increase January 1, 2019

San Diego employers, mark your calendars!

The San Diego City Treasurer recently announced that on January 1, 2019, the city of San Diego’s minimum wage will increase from $11.50 to $12.00 per hour. 

It is recommended that all San Diego employers prepare for this increase and download the revised minimum wage poster for 2019.

NEW LAW: New Requirements For California Talent Agencies

California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed Assembly Bill 2338 into law.  This new law places new training requirements for talent agency employers.

First, talent agencies must make educational materials regarding sexual harassment prevention, retaliation, and reporting resources to an adult artist within 90 days of the talent agency agreeing to represent that artist.  The materials must be in the language understood by that artist and must include, at a minimum, the components specified in the Department of Fair Employment and Housing’s Form 185.

In addition to the above materials, talent agencies must also provide the artist with educational materials regarding nutrition and eating disorders within 90 days of the talent agency agreeing to represent that artist.  The materials must be in the language understood by that artist and must include, at a minimum, the components specified in the National Institute of Health’s Eating Disorders Web site (www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/eating-disorders/index.shtml).

Finally, prior to issuing an entertainment work permit to a minor (between 14 to 17 years of age), the parent/legal guardian and the minor must receive and complete training in sexual harassment prevention, retaliation, and reporting resources.  The training must be administered by a third-party vendor, on-site, electronically, via Internet Web site, or other means. The training must be in the language understood by that the minor and his guardian and must include, at a minimum, the components specified in the Department of Fair Employment and Housing’s Form 185.

This new law goes into effect on January 1, 2019.

NEW LAW: California Expands Existing Lactation Accommodation Law

California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed Assembly Bill 1976 into law.  This new law amends California’s existing lactation accommodation law and places new responsibilities on employers.

Under the old lactation accommodation law (California Labor Code 1030, et. seq.), an employer was merely required to do the following to accommodate the nursing mother:

  • provide a reasonable amount of break time, which should, if possible, run concurrently with any break time already provided to the employee; and
  • make reasonable efforts to provide the employee with the use of a room or other location, other than a toilet stall, in close proximity to the employee’s work area, for the employee to express milk in private.

Under the new law, which goes into effect on January 1, 2019, the employer’s obligations are greatly expanded.  The first change is that the law makes it clear that the employer must provide the employee with the use of a room or other location, other than a bathroom, that is close to the employee’s working space to privately express milk.

The law also permits an employer to makes a temporary lactation location available to an employee, provided that all of the following conditions are met:

  • The employer is unable to provide a permanent lactation location because of operational, financial, or space limitations.
  • The temporary lactation location is private and free from intrusion while an employee expresses milk.
  • The temporary lactation location is used only for lactation purposes while an employee expresses milk.
  • The temporary lactation location otherwise meets the requirements of state law concerning lactation accommodation.

The new law also addresses how agricultural employers can meet the new requirements.  Specifically, the law states that an agricultural employer shall be considered to be in compliance with this law if the agricultural employer provides an employee wanting to express milk with a private, enclosed, and shaded space, including, but not limited to, an air-conditioned cab of a truck or tractor.

It is recommended that all California employers review their policies and procedures with respect to accommodating nursing mothers to verify that they will be in compliance with the new law come January 1, 2019.

San Francisco Amends “Fair Chance Ordinance” to Expand On California’s Ban-the-Box Law

Recently, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed amendments to the city’s 2014 Fair Chance Ordinance (FCO), which will expand upon the State’s “ban the box” initiative by further limiting an employer’s ability to obtain and use information about an applicant’s criminal history.

FCO Amendment

The amendments will go into effect on October 1, 2018 and will affect all employers with five or more employees nationwide that have at least one employee who works on average 8 or more hours per work in San Francisco. This expands on the existing ordinance which was limited to city-based employers with twenty or more employees nationwide.

Expansions to Existing Law

While the majority of the amendments are designed to bring the city’s outdated ordinance into alignment with the State’s new ban-the-box law, one amendment goes further and will prohibit employers from considering any convictions for crimes that have since been decriminalized regardless of when the conviction occurred.  As an example of such decriminalized activity, the amendments specifically reference certain offenses for non-commercial use and cultivation of marijuana that were recently decriminalized under state law. Continue reading San Francisco Amends “Fair Chance Ordinance” to Expand On California’s Ban-the-Box Law

California Adopts New Test for Independent Contractors

On April 30, 2018, in a departure from well-established precedent, the California Supreme Court held that the proper standard for determining whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee under the state Wage Orders is the “ABC” test.  Prior to this ruling, courts and the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement had utilized the multi-factor balancing test established by the court in Borello & Sons, Inc. v. Dep’t of Indus. Relations for this determination.

This decision will make it much more difficult for employers to classify workers as independent contractors with potentially far reaching implications including subjecting them to liability for misclassification which could include back payment of federal Social Security and payroll taxes, unemployment insurance taxes and state employment taxes, workers’ compensation premiums, and unpaid minimum wages and overtime wages and penalties associated with failure to pay proper wages.

The Old Rule (Borello) Continue reading California Adopts New Test for Independent Contractors

California Employers — Watch Out For These Common Wage And Hour Problems

California’s wage and hour laws are complicated and is constantly changing.  As a result, employers often find themselves running afoul of one (or more) of these laws and facing potential liability.

To mitigate your risk of a wage claim, we recommend that employers regularly audit their wage and hour practices to ensure compliance with California law.  When conducting this audit, make sure you have a clear understanding of the following common problems relating to compensating non-exempt employees:

Overtime And Double Time For Non-Exempt (Hourly Paid) Employees

  • California employers must pay overtime (1.5 times the employee’s regular rate of pay) to non-exempt employees as follows:
    • For all hours worked over eight hours in a workday or 40 hours a week
    • The first 8 hours worked on the 7th consecutive day of work in a workweek
  • California employers must pay double time (2 times the employee’s regular rate of pay) to non-exempt employees as follows:
    • For hours worked over 12 hours in any workday
    • For hours worked over 8 hours on the 7th consecutive day of work in a workweek

Calculating The Regular Rate Of Pay

  • The regular rate of pay is the employee’s actual rate of pay, which includes the employee’s regular hourly earnings (i.e. hourly rate of pay) plus any additional compensation that must be included in the regular rate of pay – including:
    • Commission payments;
    • Piece rate payments;
    • Non-discretionary bonuses (e.g. productivity bonus, performance bonus, attendance bonus, longevity bonus, cost-of-living bonus);
    • Awards or prizes won for quality, quantity or efficiency;
    • Shift differentials;
    • Premiums paid for hazardous, arduous or dirty work;
    • Non-cash wages in the form of goods, board, or lodging;
    • Pay for non-productive work hours (e.g. rest breaks, waiting time, attending meetings); and
    • Lump sum on-call payments.
  • Payments excluded from regular rate of pay:
    • Premium (or extra) pay for daily or weekly overtime;
    • Premium pay for work on weekends, holidays, regular days of rest or the sixth or seventh day of the workweek (if it is at least 1.5 times the rate for work performed during non-overtime hours on other days);
    • Premium pay for work outside the agreed to hours (if it is at least 1.5 times the rate for work performed during the agreed to hours);
    • Discretionary bonuses;
    • Gifts;
    • Certain payments that are not made as compensation for hours of work (e.g. vacation pay, paid time off, sick time, and reimbursement for business expenses);
    • Payments to a bona fide profit-sharing plan or trust or a bona fide thrift or savings plan;
    • Irrevocable contributions to employee health and welfare plans; and
    • Certain stock options, appreciation rights and purchase programs.

Split Shift Premiums

  • Under the split shift premium rule, an employee must receive one hour’s pay at no less than the minimum wage rate for the time between shifts.  An employer can use any hourly amount the employee earns above minimum wage to offset the split shift requirement.

Reporting Time Pay

  • “Reporting time pay” is partial compensation for employees who report to work expecting to work a specified number of hours and who are deprived of that amount because of inadequate scheduling or lack of proper notice by the employer. The provisions of the law regarding reporting time pay are as follows:
    • Each workday an employee is required to report to work, but is not put to work or is furnished with less than half of his or her usual or scheduled day’s work, he or she must be paid for half the usual or scheduled day’s work, but in no event for less than two hours nor more than four hours, at his or her regular rate of pay.
    • If an employee is required to report to work a second time in any one workday and is furnished less than two hours of work on the second reporting, he or she must be paid for two hours at his or her regular rate of pay.

Rest Periods

  • Employers are required to provide a 10-minute, duty-free rest break during each period of four hours (or major fraction thereof, i.e. 2 hours) worked by an employee.  Employers are not required rest periods when an employee’s total daily work time is less than 3½ hours.  This means that employees are entitled to rest periods as follows:
    • An employee who works more than 3½ hours and up to 6 hours is entitled to 1 rest period
    • An employee who works more than 6 hours and up to 10 hours is entitled to 2 rest periods
    • An employee who works more than 10 hours and up to 14 hours is entitled to 3 rest periods
    • An employee who works more than 14 hours and up to 18 hours is entitled to 4 rest periods

Meal Periods

  • Any employee who works more than five hours in a day must be provided with a 30-minute unpaid, duty free meal period.   The meal period must be provided no later than the end of the employee’s 5th hour of work (in other words, before the start of the employee’s 6th hour of work).
    • If an employee’s entire workday is completed in six hours or less, the meal period may be waived by mutual consent of the employer and the employee. This consent should be in writing and signed by both the employee and the employer. If the employee’s workday is more than 6 hours, then the meal period cannot be waived.
  • Any employee who works more than ten (10) hours in a day must be provided with a second unpaid, duty free meal period, also at least 30 minutes in duration. The second meal period must begin no later than the end of an employee’s 10th hour of work (i.e. before the employee works more than 10 hours).
    • If the total workday is 12 hours or less, the second meal period may be waived by mutual consent of the employer and employee, but only if the first meal period was taken. If an employee works more than 12 hours in a day, the second meal period may not be waived (except employees in the health care industry may voluntarily waive their second meal period after 12 hours).

Timekeeping Requirements

  • Employers must record the beginning and end of each workday and the beginning and end of unpaid meal or other unpaid periods.

Wage Theft Protection Act Notice

  • All non-exempt employees must be provided with a Wage Theft Prevention Notice at time of hire and within 7 days of a change.  A sample notice is available here.

Cellphone Reimbursement (** also applies to exempt employees)

  • Employers must reimburse employees who use personal cellphones for business purposes for both voice and data fees incurred for business purposes.

Paid Sick Leave (** also applies to exempt employees)

  • Employers must provide employees with paid sick leave in accordance with state or, if applicable, local law.

Pay Stub Requirements (** also applies to exempt employees)

  • Employers must provide all employees with an itemized statement of wages that includes the following information:
    • Gross wages earned;
    • Total hours worked by the employee (not required for salaried, exempt employees);
    • For piece-rate employees, the number of piece-rate units earned and any applicable piece rate if the employee is paid on a piece-rate basis, and the total hours of compensable rest and recovery periods, the rate of compensation, and the gross wages paid for those periods during the pay period, and the total hours of other nonproductive time, the rate of compensation, and the gross wages paid for that time during the pay period;
    • All deductions (all deductions made on written orders of the employee may be aggregated and shown as one item);
    • Net wages earned;
    • The inclusive dates of the period for which the employee is paid;
    • The employee’s name and the last four digits of his or her social security number or an employee identification number other than a social security number;
    • The name and address of the legal entity that is the employer; and
    • All applicable hourly rates in effect during the pay period, and the corresponding number of hours worked at each hourly rate by the employee.
  • In addition, all employee paychecks must list the address of a specific location within the state where the check can be cashed without a fee.

Vacation Pay (** also applies to exempt employees)

  • Forfeiture of vacation is prohibited in California
    • “Use it or lose it” policies are not permitted
    • All accrued but unused vacation must be paid upon termination

Final Paychecks (** also applies to exempt employees)

  • All employees must receive their final wages within the following timeframe:
    • Immediately upon involuntary termination
    • Within 72 hours if employee resigns without notice
    • On last day of work if employee resigns with at least 72 hours’ notice
  • All wages “due and owing” must be paid with the final wages, otherwise waiting time penalties are assessed.  This includes accrued, unused vacation and/or meal/rest period premiums
    • Commissions or other performance-based pay must be paid as soon as it can be calculated, regardless of when it otherwise would be paid.
  • No deduction may be taken from final paychecks unless legally mandated, authorized in writing by the employee, or for a loss attributable to the employee’s dishonest or willful act or gross negligence (but only if the employer is absolutely positive that it can be proven that the employee was not simply negligent). No balloon deductions for payoffs of employer loans to employees.

Addressing Some of the Confusion Regarding California’s New Salary History Ban

California employers – Are you confused about what information you are (and are not) allowed to request under California’s new salary history ban law?  Below are answers to some common questions regarding compliance with these new requirements.

What is the new salary history ban?

California’s salary history ban is set forth in newly created California Labor Code section 432.3. Under this code section, California employers are prohibited from “relying on the salary history information of an applicant for employment as a factor in determining whether to offer employment to an applicant or what salary to offer an applicant.”  In other words, California employers cannot ask job applicants about their salary histories.

Can a job recruiter provide an employer with a candidate’s salary history?

No.  The law expressly prohibits employers from seeking an applicant’s salary history “through an agent,” which would include an outside recruiter.  To protect themselves, employers should take steps to ensure that their recruiters (whether internal or external) are not seeking salary history information from candidates as your company can be held liable for these violations.

Can I ask an applicant what benefits they received from a previous employer?

No.  The law expressly prohibits employers from seeking an applicant’s salary history information, which includes “compensation and benefits.”  This definitely means that employers cannot ask an applicant about the value of a benefit package.  Whether an employer can ask if there are any benefits the applicant would be “losing” by accepting a position with your company is an issue that is yet to be determined.  The law is not clear on the scope of the information a company is prohibited from seeking relating to benefits.

Can I still verify an applicant’s salary history after an offer of employment has been extended?

Yes.  The state law does not prohibit employers from contacting an applicant’s previous employer(s) and verifying salary history after an offer of employment has been made.  However certain localities (like San Francisca) prohibit employers from disclosing the salary history of a current or prior employee to a prospective employer with having first obtained written authorization from the employee.

Am I required to provide applicants with a salary range for a position?

Yes – if the applicant makes a “reasonable request” (either oral or written), the employer is required to provide a “pay scale” for that position to the applicant.  In light of this requirement, it is recommended that employers prepare pay scales for positions for which they are hiring prior to posting open positions.  When explaining this pay scale to applicants, consider explaining to the employee that the salary for the position will be based on factors such as qualifications and experience.  Finally, all requests for a pay scale (and the company’s response to those requests) should be documented.

What if an applicant voluntarily provides his salary history?

The law does not prohibit applicants from “voluntarily and without prompting disclosing salary history information to a prospective employer.”  If this does happen, it is recommended that employers document the voluntary disclosure, but still take steps to ensure that this disclosure is not the sole factor used in determining the individual’s salary if that individual is hired.