Arthur R. Lehman, L.L.C.

Changes to overtime rules affect millions across the country

Recently, this New York City Business and Commercial Law Blog discussed upcoming changes to family leave regulations. Now, further changes to employment law offer relief to employees in New York as well as across the country. The recently changed Fair Labor Standards Act has raised the salary threshold for overtime pay.

The Act previously guaranteed a 40-hour work week. But, according to estimates made by the National Employment Law Project, covered only eight percent of the work force for overtime. The proposed changes would now cover around a third of today's salaried workforce. According to some estimates, around 12.5 million workers will be affected by the change. Employers will need to compensate in one of two ways: raise the salary of the affected employees to $47,476, or reclassify the salaried employees to hourly employees. In either case, the Act is designed to create a better work-life balance, or compensate when that is not an option.

What does this mean for New York employees? If a salaried employee is making between $23,600 and $47,476 and has some managerial duties, that employee is no longer exempt from overtime -- when they work more than 40 hours, they will compensated at time and a half. This demonstrates how important it is to keep track of working hours.

Keeping abreast of changing employment law is essential in today's day and age, whether one is an employee or employer. To ensure an employee's rights are being protected, they should study their employment contracts closely and understand what the new laws mean for them. They may want to consider getting employee representation from an experienced attorney.

Source: Newsweek, "New overtime rules a boon for middle-class workers," Winston Ross, May 22, 2016

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