A recent article in the New York Times looked at a complicated overtime
pay issue – one that President Obama is seeking to simplify. The
question is – who is entitled to overtime compensation? Under federal
labor law – the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) – if you are
a non-exempt hourly wage earner you are likely entitled to overtime pay
at a rate of one and one-half your hourly rate of pay for every hour worked
beyond 40 in any one-work week. However, if you make $460 a week in a
salary you often are not entitled to time-and-a-half for overtime no matter
how many extra hours you work. Broken down into an hourly rate of pay
this works out to be about $11.50 an hour. When this provision was originally
adopted it was to exempt higher paid white-collar workers. However this
is no longer the situation. In fact, by treating hourly and salaried workers
differently lower paid salary workers may face “wage exploitation”
by denying low-paid workers the potential for overtime pay.
If you have wage and hour questions, consulting with an experienced Atlanta
Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) lawyer is important to ensure you are
receiving all the pay you deserve.
President Obama has requested that the Labor Department update federal
overtime rules to reflect the purpose behind the salary basis test and
the exemption rules which provide that workers are supposed to get overtime
unless they earn a salary high enough to qualify as a professional, an
administrator or an executive. Currently, the salary threshold that defines
a white-collar salary is set at $455 a week, or $23,660 a year, which
is below the poverty line for a family of four. Once an employer pays
a worker more than that in salary, the worker may be considered exempt
from overtime. Hopefully the Department of Labor will amend this cap to
allow more workers to rightly qualify for overtime pay.
For more information, or if you have any wage and hour question, please
contact the top Georgia wage and hour lawyers at Buckley Beal LLP for
an immediate consultation.