New rule gives overtime pay to 1.3 million workers

Capitol Bureau

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The U.S. Department of Labor’s new rule will make 1.3 million more Americans eligible for overtime pay, starting Jan. 1, under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Now, employees that earn a salary less than $684 per week ($35,569 per year), are eligible for overtime pay.

Previously, the salary was $455 per week ($23,660 per year).

This rule was originally planned to go into effect in 2016, before a federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas invalidated it.

Due to this, many company’s human resource personnel have already complied with this new rule.

“A lot of employers are prepared for this already and so there’s not that nervous chatter out there… worrying about being in compliance with this,” said Lakeisha Williams, President of the Society for Human Resource Management’s Topeka chapter.

However, smaller employees, such as retail or non-profit organizations, may not have made these changes, Williams said.

Some employees may be exempted from this, if they meet the Executive Duties Test, Administrative Duties Test, or Professional Duties Test and make at least $35,569 per year. This means that the duties performed in their position do not qualify them for paid overtime.

Some employers may cut employee’s hours, or raise their salary, to prevent them from being paid overtime, Williams said.

However, if an employee was exempted but had a low salary and is still working the same number of hours, their pay should increase.

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