Overtime lawyers know it’s no surprise that the American workday does not stop at 5 p.m. In fact, earlier this year the Obama administration’s Department of Labor (DOL) proposed changes in the federal overtime rules for this very reason. The changes more than doubled the salary point that determines whether or not an employee is eligible for overtime pay. In response, many employers have been scrambling to track and manage the number of hours employees actually work, according to a Wall Street Journal article.
Consequently, companies are seeking to balance compliance with the new rules while, at the same time, keeping labor costs down. New technology has come to the rescue, such as computer software that alerts managers when staff comes too close to the overtime pay threshold. Still, other employers are carefully reevaluating which staff should be paid hourly or salary. On top of this, companies have begun discouraging employees to continue working past regular hours – and this includes checking emails.
If you or someone you know believes he or she is entitled to overtime pay that has not been received, it is important to hire an aggressive and knowledgeable overtime lawyer to protect your rights under state and federal laws.
Overtime Pay: What the Law Says
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the federal law that requires payment of overtime. It also sets a minimum wage. Under the law, overtime pay is one-and-one-half times the hourly rate, when an employee works more than 40 hours in a week.
Not surprisingly, employers implicitly expect workers to be available after-hours and often do not pay for the extra time involved. Under FLSA, certain employees are “exempt” from overtime laws. The DOL recently enacted newly proposed rules that generally focus on salary and compensation levels for white-collar workers to be exempt for overtime pay. The proposal included:
- Setting the standard salary threshold for exemption from overtime pay (from $455 weekly/$23,660 annually to $921 weekly/$47,892 annually);
- Increasing the annual compensation requirement of exempted highly compensated employees to $122,148; and
- Creating an automatic system to update salary and compensation requirements for exempt workers.
It is estimated that, employers paid American workers about $6.7 trillion in wages in 2013. The recommended overtime rule changes are expected to transfer $1.5 billion from employers to employees.
Overtime Lawyers in NYC
Labor law can be complicated, particularly when changes to regulations create secondary issues. As technology advances, so does the expectation to respond immediately whether it relates to personal or business matters. If you or someone you know believes they are entitled to overtime pay they did not receive, the legal professionals a Ricotta & Marks P.C. can provide a free, initial case evaluation to explain your rights under the law. Call (347) 464-8694 today to schedule your consultation.