Millions more workers will become eligible for overtime pay starting later this year, under a new federal rule announced by the White House this week. According to a report on CNN Money, under this rule, anyone making a salary of under $47,476 annually or $913 a week will automatically qualify for overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours a week. This change will go into effect December 1, 2016. The goal of this rule is to expand access to overtime pay for workers with low salaries who log long hours, but are exempt from overtime because they perform some managerial duties.
The Labor Department estimates that this rule change could result in an additional $12 billion in pay for workers over the next 10 years. The establishments most affected by this rule will be restaurants and retail. However, it applies to all private sector industries, from government offices to nonprofits and universities.
What Changes Can You Expect?
Here are some of the changes you can expect when the new rule goes into effect in December:
• You will start getting overtime if you are a salaried worker who makes between $23,660 and $47,476 and perform some duties as a supervisor. The goal of the new rule is to give a boost to low-paid managers who will now be re-classified as non-exempt.
• You may get a small raise if your employer decides to raise your base pay in order to avoid paying you overtime.
• On the other hand, your employer could lower your base hourly pay to offset any overtime you’ll be owed.
• Your employer could limit your hours in order to prevent paying you overtime.
• You could see changes in your benefits.
• Your vacation accrual schedule could change.
• If you are reclassified as non-exempt, you may no longer be entitled to bonuses or profit sharing.
Safeguarding Your Rights
Regardless of what changes your employer makes, it is crucial that you stay abreast of the law and ensure that you are not being exploited. While this new rule could benefit many low-paid managers, it could also force employers to look for ways to shortchange employees. If you believe that your employer has misclassified you to avoid paying overtime or has failed to pay overtime wages owed to you, please remember that you have legal rights.
You can file a wage and hour claim against your employer to seek and obtain not only the wages that have not been paid to you, but also additional damages for the financial strain and emotional anguish your employer’s actions have caused you. An experienced California employment attorney can help evaluate your case and assist you with getting the compensation you rightfully deserve.