The United States Department of Labor (DOL) recently announced revisions to the regulations that govern when a “white collar” employee has to be paid an overtime premium for working more than 40 hours in a workweek. As a result, starting December 1, 2016, most “white collar” employees who earn less than $47,476 per year will be entitled to earn an overtime premium whenever they work more than 40 hour in any given week.
To understand this change in federal law, employees should first understand one basic fact about how companies are required to pay their employees under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Every employee in the United States is entitled to overtime pay after working 40 hours in a workweek unless the employee falls into one of the FLSA’s “exemptions.” In other words, an employer can only pay an employee a salary (and refuse to pay overtime wages) if the employee meets one of the FLSA’s “exemptions.”
The “white collar” exemptions are one set of FLSA exemptions that allow an employer to pay a fixed salary to certain employees regardless of how many hours they work. These “white collar” exemptions include the “executive” exemption (certain company executives and managers), the “administrative” exemption (certain office administrative staff), and the “professional” exemption (certain creative professions and certain professions that require an advanced academic degree).
Typically, an employer does not have to pay overtime to any employee who falls into one of these three “white collar” exemptions. However, these exemptions typically do not apply when an employer pays an employee less than a certain amount annually. Therefore, if you are being paid a salary of less than $47,476 per year, regardless of how much you work, you will most likely be entitled to overtime pay beginning December 1, 2016.
The DOL has published numerous resources related to its recent revisions to the “white collar” exemption regulations: https://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/final2016/.
In light of the DOL’s revision to the “white collar” exemptions, most employees who earn less than $47,476 per year will be entitled to overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours in any workweek. Therefore, if you earn a fixed salary of less than $47,476 annually, you should seek the advice of an attorney concerning your overtime rights.
We have successfully represented tens of thousands of workers all across the country in overtime cases. We work on a contingency, meaning we only get paid if we get a recovery for our clients. To learn more about our Wage & Overtime practice, click here.
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