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Increase to Minimum Salary Under Federal Overtime Law May (Finally) Be Coming

After a federal judge shot down the Obama administration’s proposed changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), actual change is on the horizon. On March 7, 2019, the Department of Labor’s Wage & Hour Division released a new proposal to update the FLSA’s out-of-date salary threshold. Set back in 2004, the FLSA white-collar exemptions currently require an employer to pay an employee in an exempt position a minimum salary of $455 per week ($23,660 per year). This is not an onerous burden for an employer.

If approved, the proposal will increase the salary threshold to $679 per week ($35,308 per year), and make approximately one million U.S. workers eligible for overtime.

However, salary alone does not determine whether a position is exempt from overtime requirements. In addition, whether a position is exempt from overtime is not determined by who is in the position, nor is it determined by the employee’s preference for one status versus the other. A detailed analysis of the actual job duties is the real driver. If the job duties satisfy one of the exemption tests, the position may be exempt from overtime if it also meets the minimum salary threshold.

If you are an employee with concerns about denial of overtime, misclassification of your position, or unpaid wages, please give us a call. In addition to your rights under the FLSA, state law protections may also be available.