U.S. Department of Labor (06/30/15)
The U.S. Department of Labor has announced a proposed rule that would extend overtime protections to nearly five million white collar workers within the first year of its implementation. Failure to update the overtime regulations has left an exception to overtime eligibility originally meant for highly compensated executive, administrative, and professional employees now applying to workers earning as little as $23,660 a year. For example, a convenience store manager, fast food assistant manager, or some office workers may be expected to work 50 or 60 hours a week or more, making less than the poverty level for a family of four, and not receive a dime of overtime pay.
Key provisions of the proposed rule include that the department proposes to set the standard salary level at the 40th percentile of weekly earnings for full-time salaried workers ($921 per week, or $47,892 annually); increase the total annual compensation requirement needed to exempt highly compensated employees to the annualized value of the 90th percentile of weekly earnings of full-time salaried workers ($122,148 annually); and establish a mechanism for automatically updating the salary and compensation levels going forward to ensure that they will continue to provide a useful and effective test for exemption.