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Overtime laws to cover millions more workers

There are certain federal laws in place that protect workers in all 50 states. One of these laws is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Under the FLSA, employers are required to pay eligible workers overtime pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek.

The overtime pay must be at least time and a half of their regular pay. The "workweek" is considered to be seven consecutive 24-hour periods. Working on weekends or holidays is not considered overtime unless it means the employee is working in excess of 40 hours.

Are you eligible for overtime under the FLSA?

In order to be eligible for overtime pay, your employer must be covered by the FLSA, which most employers are. You also must be "nonexempt" from the overtime pay rules. Exempt employees hold "administrative, executive, or professional" positions, they make over a certain salary level and they spend most of their time performing work that allows them to use their own discretion and independent judgment.

New rules expands overtime coverage Dec. 1

President Obama and the Department of Labor issued a new overtime rule that will take effect on Dec. 1, 2016. The updated new rule will result in more than 4 million additional workers to have overtime protection within the first 12 months.

The rule increases the salary threshold to $47,500 annually, which is almost double the current threshold of close to $24,000.

Will lawsuit block rule from taking effect?

In September, 21 states and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce filed a lawsuit seeking to stop the new rule from taking effect. The Texas judge overseeing the motion has said that a decision on whether to put an injunction in place -- meaning that the law would be placed on hold -- will be issued the week of Thanksgiving.

Speak with an employment law attorney in your area if you think that you are owed overtime pay from a past or current employer, or if you are wondering if overtime laws apply to you.

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