Proposal from DOL could mean more workers receive overtime

If you are eligible for overtime pay, you should know that you are supposed to receive time-and-a-half for every hour you work beyond 40 hours in one workweek. Workers who are eligible for overtime pay are categorized as non-exempt workers.

Exempt workers, on the other hand, do not qualify for overtime pay. This category includes people who are in certain high-level positions and people who earn salaries instead of hourly wages. Additionally, any worker who earns more than $23,060 per year can be categorized as an exempt employee. However, changes proposed by the Department of Labor could open up these restrictions a bit more to allow more people to be classified as non-exempt workers and therefore qualify for overtime pay.

According to recent reports, the DOL has proposed raising the salary threshold from just over $23,000 per year to $50,440 per year. The increase has been proposed in response to the fact that the lower salary threshold was set more than a decade ago and does not reflect inflation over the years. 

This change would mean that any person earning less than $50,440, which includes many people across New York, would be considered non-exempt and therefore eligible for overtime pay.

As noted in this. U.S. News & World Report article on the proposal, the increased threshold would result in many changes besides allowing more workers to collect overtime. It could also prompt some employers to raise an employee’s salary to keep him or her exempt, and it could lead to stricter rules for hourly workers in terms of tracking the number of hours worked and staying within the 40-hour limit.

Further, employees who move from non-exempt to exempt may have to adjust to new requirements and stricter schedules so that overtime is tracked and compensated properly .

A final ruling on the proposed change is expected in the near future, and we will certainly be following any developments that take place. In the meantime, it will be crucial for employers and employees across New York to assess their current wage structure and be prepared to make changes, if necessary.

super lawyers
New York County Lawyers Association
New York City Bar
NELA Advocates for Employee Rights National Employment Lawyers Association
lead counsel lc verified