Last month the Obama administration’s Department of Labor (DOL) proposed changes in the federal overtime rules (NPRM) more than doubled the salary threshold that determines whether or not workers are eligible for overtime pay. As a result, employers across the nation are scrambling to track and manage the number of hours their employees really work, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article.
Many employers are trying to balance compliance with the new rules with keeping labor costs down. Some businesses are installing new technology, like software that alerts managers when staff is getting close to reaching the overtime pay threshold, while others are reevaluating which employees should be paid hourly versus salary. Many companies have discouraged employees to continue working – even if to check emails – past regular hours. If you or someone you know believes he or she is entitled to overtime pay, it is important to hire an aggressive and knowledgeable overtime lawyer to protect your rights.
Changes in Overtime Rules
Overtime pay is time-and-a-half when an employee works more than 40 hours in a week. The last time the DOL updated the regulations governing overtime pay was in 2004.
The newly proposed rules focus, generally, on salary and compensation levels needed for white-collar workers to be exempt for overtime pay. Specifically, this includes:
- Changing 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 to exempt highly compensated employees to $122,148 annually; and
- Creating a system to automatically update the salary and compensation requirements for exempt workers to ensure they remain useful and effective.
According to the WSJ article, employers paid U.S. workers approximately $6.7 trillion in wages in 2013. If the recommended overtime rule changes are accepted as proposed, during the first year the modifications go into effect almost $1.5 billion is expected to relocate from businesses to employees. Not surprisingly, some business leaders have excoriated the Obama administration alleging the changes could stunt the United States’ much-needed job growth. The proposed rules are raising questions as to how to measure work conducted outside of the office, particularly those done in small increments.
Overtime Lawyers in NYC
Highly skilled and knowledgeable overtime lawyers in NYC can help you receive compensation for unpaid wages. Labor law can be complicated, particularly when changes to regulations create secondary issues. If you or someone you know believes they are entitled to overtime pay wages they did not receive, the specialized team of overtime lawyers in NYC at Ricotta & Marks P.C. can provide a free, initial case evaluation to explain your rights under the law. Click or call (347) 464-8694 today to schedule your quick case evaluation.