As the deadline to implement amendments to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) approaches, potentially millions more working Americans may be entitled to bring home overtime compensation. At the same time employers across the country are also making adjustments to combat potential payroll increases. As a result, many employees wonder – will I be entitled to overtime pay?
First, in general all “non-exempt” workers are entitled to overtime pay for hours worked in excess of forty in a workweek, whereas “exempt” workers are not. To make this determination, employers look at employees’ wages and their job duties and responsibilities. Previously, only those employees making more than $455/week could be considered exempt. Beginning December 1, 2016 this threshold amount has increased to $913/week. By raising the threshold, substantially more workers may be entitled to overtime pay. It is important to note that even those workers who make more than $913/week may still be considered non-exempt and entitled to overtime pay.
For jobs that pay more than $913/week, employers will determine whether a particular job qualifies as exempt. Exempt employees generally fall within certain white collar categories such as lawyers, doctors, teachers, managers, computer analysts and programmers, creative/artistic jobs, and outside sales employees. However, an employer’s designation of an employee as exempt is not always accurate. If you believe that you have been misclassified as exempt, it is a good idea to discuss your concerns with an experienced Georgia wage and hour lawyer.
Some employers are fighting back against a potential surge in overtime compensation demands by restricting the hour workers put in, and requiring employees complete their job within a 40 hour work week. In some situations, the job cannot be completed within an 8-hour day or 40-hour work week. If your employer requests you complete work “off-the-clock”, this may violate federal wage law. Additionally, some employers may increase a worker’s salary above the threshold so that he or she may be considered “exempt.” Misclassifying workers as exempt when they should be non-exempt, and denying them potential overtime pay, may also be a violation of the FLSA.
With the new changes to be implemented in less than a month, it is important to know your rights and ensure that you are not being denied all the compensation you are rightly entitled to.
For more information please contact the experienced Atlanta wage and hour lawyers at Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP for an immediate case evaluation.