The Department of Labor has indicated that as early as March of 2019, new rules will be issued concerning the overtime exemption under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The proposed changes have been on hold for nearly two years and involve qualifications necessary to be considered exempt under the FLSA.
Pursuant to the FLSA, if you are classified as non-exempt, you may be entitled to earn overtime compensation at a rate of one and one-half times your standard rate of pay for all time worked in excess of 40 hours in any work week. On the other hand, if you are considered exempt, you are generally not entitled to earn overtime pay, regardless of the number of hours worked. In order to be considered exempt, you must be paid at least a certain threshold amount, and your job duties must fall within one of the exempt categories (administrative, professional, or executive).
In 2016, the salary threshold was set to be raised to $913/week ($47,476/year) from its current level. Had the increase taken effect, millions more American workers would have been entitled to earn overtime pay. However, days before going into effect, the increase was halted, and subsequently met numerous legal challenges leaving employers and employees in limbo.
Now, over two years later, the issue has been revisited. Within the next several weeks, the Department of Labor will issue a new proposed rule, likely suggesting an increase to the salary threshold. This amount is unlikely to be as high as previously set forth. Once the proposed rule is issued, the public will have the opportunity to comment before the final rule is published, and ultimately adopted. At that time, it is likely that employees' pay may be affected. Those previously considered exempt, may now be classified as non-exempt and be eligible for overtime pay. Alternatively, some employees may be given raises in order to maintain their exempt status. As experienced wage and hour attorneys, we will be following the proposed rule closely and identifying those changes that may affect Georgia employees.
For more information or if you have any wage and hour questions, please contact the dedicated Atlanta wage and hour lawyers at Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP for an immediate case evaluation.