In today’s modern workforce, employees have increasingly been working longer hours for less pay. Many of these workers are salaried employees, who are told by their employer that they do not qualify for overtime. Recently, under the Obama administration’s direction, the Department of Labor (DOL) passed new regulations that affect who is eligible for overtime payments. The DOL estimates that this will now enable approximately 4.2 million Americans to receive overtime payments, who were previously considered exempt. So who are these people and what do they do?
The White Collar exemptions are the main types of job classifications that typically “exempt” workers from being owed overtime. The three main exemptions are the:
In the past, these types of employees almost never received overtime pay because they performed these job duties and met a set “salary threshold”. This threshold is precisely what the Obama Administration sought to change.
In order to qualify for any of the White Collar Exemptions, employees must meet the Salary Basis Test. Under the current or old rules, the salary threshold was $455 per week, which is roughly $23,660 per year.
So, currently, as long as an employee is paid $455 per week, they can qualify for one the above exemptions.
However, under the Obama Administration’s instructions, the Department of Labor recently passed new regulations that raise the salary threshold. Effective December 1st, 2016, the new threshold is $913 per week, or roughly $47,476.00 per year.
While the new rules will apply to workers in all sorts of fields, certain industries will be impacted more significantly than others. If you work in one of the following industries, pay extra attention to these changes:
In order to adjust to the rules, many employers will soon begin to change the way they pay their employees. If you are a salaried employee making below $47,000.00, there is a good chance that your employer will switch you to an hourly employee. If that happens, here are some things to keep in mind:
With these new rules going into effect December 1, 2016, many employers are still trying to figure out what, if any, changes they are going to make. Rather than waiting and seeing what happens, it is extremely important to be informed of these new rules so you know what you’re owed. If you think that you might soon be eligible for overtime, or that maybe you should have been paid overtime in the past, it is critical that you seek help in understanding and claiming your rights.
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