DOL Changes May Provide Overtime Payments for Many Florida Employees
In addition to a minimum hourly wage, employers are required to pay employees time-and-a-half of their regular wage for all overtime hours worked. Overtime regulations are complicated, however, as the law provides many exemptions from the overtime requirement. Some employers take advantage of these exemptions or misinterpret them in order to avoid paying deserving employees proper overtime rates. In recent months, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) has announced its intention to amend the exemptions, which sources indicate would extend overtime rights to an estimated 4.6 million “white collar” employees throughout the country.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets out the overtime requirements for employees throughout the United States and this is the law that would be changed by the DOL. Because Florida does not have its own state law specifically addressing overtime rights, the FLSA is the governing law for Florida employees and changes to this law will affect the rights of many employees throughout our state. Currently, the FLSA states that individuals who meet the following criteria are exempt from overtime payments:
- Receive a salary of at least $455 per week ($23,660 annually); AND
- Are classified as executive, administrative, or professional employees, meaning the actual performance of exempt job duties.
Though there are other types of overtime exemptions, these are the specific ones at issue in the recent proposals to change the law. Currently, only about eight percent of administrative, executive, or professional employees make less than the minimum salary and are, therefore, eligible for overtime payments.
DOL officials wish to change FLSA overtime exemptions in the following ways:
Raise the minimum salary for an exemption from $23,660 to $50,440 (or $970 weekly);
Raise the minimum salary for the “highly compensated employees” exemption from $100,000 to $125,000 annually; and
Allow for automatic and regular increases for these exemption minimums based on economic data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Consumer Price Index.
These changes would open up the opportunity to receive time-and-a-half overtime payments for a substantial number of employees throughout Florida and the United States. It is estimated that the number of “white collar” employees who qualify for overtime will increase from eight percent to 44 percent. Though many employers have voiced their opposition to these changes, it is predicted the new changes will occur and go into effect in early 2016.
Contact An Experienced Florida Wage And Hour Attorney For Help As Soon As Possible
Wage, hour, and overtime laws can be very complex and ever-changing. At the law offices of Robert S. Norell, P.A., we have a thorough understanding of your rights under FLSA and all other types of employment laws at both the federal and state levels. We constantly strive to stand up for employees whose rights have been violated and to help them obtain the back pay and other compensation they deserve for their relevant losses. Please do not hesitate to call a qualified wage and hour lawyer in Plantation, Florida at 305-405-9243 to discuss your situation today.