Employment Trends

Is Your Job Exempt From Overtime Pay?

Written by Peter Jones

Are you wondering if you’re exempt from overtime pay? Thanks to the U.S. Labor Department and President Obama, there is a new overtime pay threshold for people working more than 40 hours per week. By the current rule,  you would only be eligible for guaranteed time-and-a-half overtime pay if you made less than $23,660 per year. The new threshold is much higher: $47, 476 per year.

This is part of a planned Fair Labor Standards Act update, the details of which have been in the works since 2014. Previous regulations made most white collar workers making a set salary, even a low one, ineligible for overtime pay.

To quote the President, “It doesn’t make sense that in some cases this rule actually makes it possible for salaried workers to be paid less than the minimum wage… If you’re working hard, you’re barely making ends meet, you should be paid for overtime. Period.”

The only catch is that your employer might be reluctant to shell out. Be on the lookout for a pay raise that puts you at, say, $47,477 per year. Or a pay cut to compensate for the amount of overtime you would be making. As long as you’re making the state-regulated minimum wage, there’s nothing legally you can do to counter that sort of sneaky move.

But, look on the bright side! Starting December 1 of this year, if you make less than $913 a week before tax, your employer is legally required to start paying you time-and-a-half overtime for any hour you work above 40. This rule will be due for an update again in 2020.

Here’s hoping for more overtime protection for more workers, this year and in the future.

About the author

Peter Jones