The Department of Labor (DOL) made several changes this summer, including
2 announcements that will likely expand the number of workers covered
under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The first change involved “white
collar” exemptions and the DOL’s proposed rule that the salary
threshold for having exempt status be raised from $455/week to $970/week.
Workers who are considered exempt do not earn overtime pay, regardless
of the number of hours worked in a week. Employers may classify workers
as exempt if the meet that threshold level of pay, and fall into the category
of performing executive, administrative or professional duties.
Additionally, the definition of who may be considered an independent contractor
has narrowed. Previously the definition allowed greater flexibility for
employers to categorize workers as “independent” and thus
avoid many of the requirements owed to employees pursuant to federal and
state law. Pursuant to the new interpretation, if one’s job duties
are an “integral part” of an employers business, than this
worker should be considered an employee rather than in “independent
contracts.” In most instances, workers are performing work that
is integral to an employer’s underlying business.
Other factors look at the opportunity for real profit or loss, the extent
of a worker’s investment, the degree of skill required, the nature
of the relationship (whether there’s a specific time frame) and
the amount of employer control.
If you are a non-exempt employee, then you may be entitled to overtime
pay at a rate of one and one half times your hourly rate for time worked
in excess of 40 hours in any one work week. As the result, ensuring your
classification is correct may have a significant impact on one’s
take home pay.
For more information or if you have questions about your employment classification,
please contact the experienced
Atlanta wage and hour lawyers at Buckley Beal, LLP for an immediate consultation.