The US Fair Labor Standards Act establishes multiple requirements involving pay, hours, recordkeeping, and related employment issues for workers in both the public and private sector. The details are subject to change over time to account for economic factors and other conditions that affect cost of living. After much deliberation and discussion, the federal government did make an adjustment that will affect an estimated 1.3 million Americans in the workforce. Recently, the US Department of Labor announced amendments to current laws regarding overtime, making more employees eligible to receive additional pay.
The new regulations will take effect on January 1, 2020, but not all employers are prepared to implement them. Many more companies may not even be aware of the new changes. A Georgia wage, hour, and overtime lawyer can explain how the requirements will affect you personally, but some general information may also be useful.
Basic FLSA Laws on Overtime: Federal law requires employers to pay an employee 1.5 times the normal wage if he or she works more than 40 hours in a defined work week. The Georgia Department of Labor follows FLSA regulations, so you’re entitled to the extra pay as long as you’re eligible – a determination that’s based upon your status as an exempt or nonexempt employee. The terminology can be confusing, so you should simply remember that only nonexempt workers qualify for overtime pay. You’re considered exempt – and NOT entitled to overtime – if:
- You’re salaried, in the sense that your pay doesn’t vary because of variations in the quality of quantity of work you perform;
- You are paid a weekly salary level above a certain amount; AND,
- Your basic job function is associated with an executive, administrative, or professional position.
Overtime Will Impact More Georgia Workers: The recently announced change to overtime rules focuses on factor #2 above, increasing the weekly salary level that marks the distinction between exempt and nonexempt employees. The effect is to make more workers eligible for overtime pay, as long as they meet the other two requirements. Currently, the maximum threshold is $455 per week, the equivalent of $23,660 per year.
The new regulation raises the salary level to $684 per week, or $35,568 annually. Therefore, you can make more and still qualify for overtime if you work in excess of 40 hours per week. This is good news for many employees, but it can lead to classification issues. Employers have an incentive to contest your status, so they don’t have to pay you for overtime. Misclassification affects your rights and your paycheck, but you do have legal options for enforcement.
Speak to a Georgia Overtime Claims Attorney for Free
For more information on the new overtime requirements and how they impact your pay, please contact the Vaughn Law Firm in Decatur, GA. We can schedule a free consultation to review your circumstances and describe how the regulations will apply. Our lawyers can also assess your eligibility for overtime pay, especially if you’ve been misclassified as exempt by your employer. Our team represents workers throughout DeKalb County, Fulton County, and Cobb County, so we’re prepared to take on your employment law matter.