This past week, Labor Secretary Thomas Perez announced that his agency has finished drafting proposals which would update the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime and minimum wage laws for the first time in over a decade.
While no one knows exactly what the proposals will include, many anticipate that they will allow for more employees to earn overtime compensation. Currently, numerous employees can be considered “exempt” – this includes workers who make only $455 a week – or just under $24,000 a year. As stated by President Obama little over a year ago, “The overtime rules that establish the 40-hour workweek, a linchpin of the middle class, have eroded over the years…As a result, millions of salaried workers have been left without the protections of overtime or sometimes even the minimum wage.”
Experts predict that the new threshold will be set somewhere around $40,000 a week, however Senate Democrats were hoping for $56,000. Either way, it is likely that substantial numbers of new workers will be able to earn overtime pay. However, the exemptions will still apply to many professions, such as lawyers, doctors or outside salespersons no matter what their pay is.
Further, Obama is expected to also narrow the exemptions in other ways, by requiring, for instance, that a “manager” spend most or all of the work week managing.
Currently, only 12% of salaried workers are eligible for overtime pay.
For more information, or if you have questions about your right to overtime pay or how the new proposals may impact you, please contact the experienced Georgia wage and hour lawyers at Buckley Beal LLP for an immediate case evaluation.