The newly-approved overtime pay legislation is set to take effect on December 1st, just a few short months away, but most employers and employees alike
don’t know the details. If you are in this same group, don’t
worry. You still have time to figure out your new rights as an employee
or your new obligations as an employer.
To begin, the law has raised the minimum overtime compensation threshold
for salaried workers quite significantly. In the past, if you made more
than $23,660 a year in salary pay, you were not eligible for overtime
pay, even if you were asked to work 60 hours a week. The new bill has
effectively doubled that threshold to $47,476. This changeup is expected
to add another 10 million or so salaried employees into the eligibility status.
In response to the new changes, employers have essentially three options:
No changes: Keep running business as usual and start doling out time-and-a-half pay
to any salaried employee under that threshold that works more than 40
hours in a week. The law was revised with this exact scenario in mind,
as it wants to award Americans who put the majority of their daily lives
into their jobs. It should be noted that this would require salaried employees
to start clocking in and out and tracking their hours and lunches.
Income increase: If an employer cannot cope with the idea of implementing a timeclock system
or wants to simply sidestep any possible overtime pay violations, they
can increase all of their employee salaries to $47,477 or more. The increased
minimum is a reflection of what is considered a livable wage, and it will
also automatically increase every three years to adjust for inflation.
Limited time only: What happens if an employer doesn’t want to pay their employees
more? Hours become restricted. An employer can choose to not raise income
but not allow employees to work more than 40 hours in a week and still
overtime pay violations. The optimistic side of this option is that additional workers may be
hired to fill in the productivity gaps created by a lack of overtime hours;
thus, unemployment rates could drop.
What Will Happen at Your Workplace?
It is hard to say what your employer will choose to do when December 1st rolls around. Small companies may be more likely to use a timeclock system,
whereas large corporations might raise salaries to avoid complications.
However, some speculate that certain companies may raise salaries for
some employees and lay off others to compensate for the payroll adjustment.
What you do need to do is pay attention to company announcements in the
coming months, if you are an employee. If you are an employer, you have
to start working with your accountants and executives and figure out what
you can do in regards to the upcoming changes without breaking your own
company’s wallet. If you require help in either situation, you can
turn to Buckley Beal LLP and our Atlanta employment law attorneys for
Call 404.471.3725 today and ask for a
case analysis with our highly-experienced team.