A recent article in the New York Times looked at a complicated overtime pay issue – one that President Obama is seeking to simplify. The question is – who is entitled to overtime compensation? Under federal labor law – the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) – if you are a non-exempt hourly wage earner you are likely entitled to overtime pay at a rate of one and one-half your hourly rate of pay for every hour worked beyond 40 in any one-work week. However, if you make $460 a week in a salary you often are not entitled to time-and-a-half for overtime no matter how many extra hours you work. Broken down into an hourly rate of pay this works out to be about $11.50 an hour. When this provision was originally adopted it was to exempt higher paid white-collar workers. However this is no longer the situation. In fact, by treating hourly and salaried workers differently lower paid salary workers may face “wage exploitation” by denying low-paid workers the potential for overtime pay.
If you have wage and hour questions, consulting with an experienced Atlanta Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) lawyer is important to ensure you are receiving all the pay you deserve.
President Obama has requested that the Labor Department update federal overtime rules to reflect the purpose behind the salary basis test and the exemption rules which provide that workers are supposed to get overtime unless they earn a salary high enough to qualify as a professional, an administrator or an executive. Currently, the salary threshold that defines a white-collar salary is set at $455 a week, or $23,660 a year, which is below the poverty line for a family of four. Once an employer pays a worker more than that in salary, the worker may be considered exempt from overtime. Hopefully the Department of Labor will amend this cap to allow more workers to rightly qualify for overtime pay.
For more information, or if you have any wage and hour question, please contact the top Georgia wage and hour lawyers at Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP for an immediate case evaluation.