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Department Of Labor Proposes Rule Extending Overtime To Salaried Workers


Employers everywhere should make note of a rule recently proposed by the U.S. Department of Labor that would guarantee overtime pay for millions of relatively low-paid, white-collar salaried workers.

Current rules exempt salaried employees in executive, administrative and professional (EAP) positions from overtime pay if they are paid at least $684 a week or the equivalent of $35,568 annually.

Under the proposed rule, the DOL would bump up the salary level for exempt EAP employees to cover the top 65 percent of full-time salaried workers in the lowest-wage Census Region (currently the South).

This means any EAP worker earning less than $1,059 a week (or $55,068 annually) would be entitled to overtime pay.

Additionally, the new rule would update earnings thresholds every three years using current wage data.

Though this is only a proposed rule, it would be wise to talk to an attorney and review your own policies to ensure you’re properly categorizing your employees, paying overtime to all workers entitled to it under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, and identifying anybody who is currently exempt but would not be under the proposed rule.

FLSA violations can be costly — with the employer being ordered to pay fines, back wages, damages, attorneys’ fees and court costs — so a bit of foresight can go a long way.