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New Overtime Pay Opinion Letters Issued

The Department of Labor (DOL), has issued 3 new wage and hour opinion letters concerning overtime pay.  While opinion letters do not serve as law, they provide guidance when interpreting provisions of federal labor law.  Recently, 3 letters were issued concerning the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).   These letters help identify under what circumstances workers must be paid overtime compensation.  Pursuant to the FLSA, non-exempt workers are entitled to earn overtime pay at a rate of one and one-half their standard rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 in any one work week.  However, exempt workers are not entitled to overtime pay regardless of the number of hours worked. 

The letters are typically in response to a request for an explanation as to how a particular law would be interpreted under a unique set of facts. However although the letters answer narrow questions, the reasoning may be broadly applied.  In the instant case, the first letter responded to question concerning whether paralegals who earned over $100,000/year would be considered exempt.  The DOL determined that they would be considered exempt as “highly compensated employees” and also because their duties fell within the auspices of the administrative exemption, which includes  performing “non-manual” tasks as well as “customarily and regularly performing at least one exempt duty of an administrative employee.” Thus, while the letter specifically addressed particular paralegals, such analysis may be useful in determining the correct classification for various different types of highly paid office workers.

The DOL also determined software that rounds time worked by employees was permissible and addressed when to include bonus payments when calculating your regular rate of pay.  The full content of the letters may be found here.

For more information or to answer any of your wage and hour questions, please contact the Atlanta employment law attorneys at Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP for an immediate case evaluation. 

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