The Department of Labor (DOL) has announced that beginning December 1, new rules concerning overtime exemptions will become effective. Specifically, the salary threshold will be increased from $455 to $913/week. What does this mean and how will it affect workers?
First, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provides that all non-exempt workers are entitled to receive overtime compensation at a rate of one and one-half times their standard rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours a week in any one work week. Workers who are exempt, however, are not entitled to overtime pay regardless of the number of hours worked. Thus the determination of whether you are exempt or not can have a significant impact on a worker’s pay check. One of the criteria in determining whether you can be considered exempt is how much you make. Because the exemptions were originally designed to cover white collar workers, legislators set a salary threshold, the least amount a worker could make before being considered exempt. However, over the years this threshold has not been raised, and the result has been that many lower level workers were denied overtime pay. Now that the threshold will be adjusted upward, millions of new employees may be eligible for overtime. Was does this mean to you? First, you should consult with your employer to determine if you will be eligible for overtime pay. If so, your employer will either need to ensure you are paid the extra compensation, or alternatively, ensure that you are not required to work more than 40 hours a week. Another possibility is that you may be given a raise. Employers may boost employees’ salaries to ensure their pay is above the salary threshold.
Each work place is different, however it is important that your employer communicate to you how this new rule may affect your ability to earn overtime compensation.
For more information or to answer any of your wage and hour questions, please contact Atlanta’s experienced wage and hour lawyers at Buckley Beal LLP for an immediate case evaluation.