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President Issues Executive Order to Expand Overtime Eligibility

140828790KE004_President_ObPresident Obama issued an executive order last week that would expand the pool of workers eligible for overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).

You may or may not already be familiar with the overtime portions of the FLSA; in case you aren’t, we will provide you with a brief synopsis.  In short, the FLSA provides that many employers have to pay overtime to their employees who work more than 40 hours per week.  This provision is not universal, however, because the Department of Labor is given the ability to create exemptions to it.  As a friendly reminder, don’t forget that you can make overtime even if you are a salaried employee.  Although salaried employees are often exempted from overtime by the professional, executive, or administrative exemptions, there is a threshold below which salaried employees must be given overtime pay.  Prior to recent developments, the FLSA guaranteed overtime pay for salaried workers only if they made less than $455 per week or roughly $23,000 per year.

The new executive order issued last week, for which specifics have yet to be released, is estimated to increase that threshold to between $550 and $970 per week, or approximately $28,600 to $50,440 per year.  In other words, depending on the specifics of the executive order, salaried workers who make up to $970 per week may now be covered under this executive order.

According to multiple pieces in the Washington Post, this order is designed specifically to help salaried workers who are expected to work long hours without additional compensation, such as managers of fast food restaurants and convenience stores.  This expansion of the salaried overtime pool is expected to impact millions of workers, and could very well affect you.

Are you a salaried worker expected to work long hours because your boss told you that you’re exempt from overtime?  What you were told by your supervisor isn’t necessarily true.  Check out the FLSA FAQ on the Erlich Law Office site for more information about overtime and exemptions and our practice area page on wage claims.

Also, remember that you should still track your hours if you are salaried, especially if your employer is not tracking your hours.  It will help you in your attempts to be compensated for the overtime hours that you have worked if you have notes or a record of the number of uncompensated overtime hours you worked each day.  Many salaried employees don’t clock in or clock out for their shifts, so it is very easy to lose track of how many hours those employees have been at work.

Finally, even if you don’t keep detailed notes, you can still collect your unpaid overtime.  It’s harder, but we handle these sorts of cases.  Whenever you walk into work, you probably leave some sort of evidence that you just got there.  A computer timestamp.  An email.  A security card swipe.  The same thing happens when you leave.  We can probably prove your hours if necessary, but it is to your benefit to keep notes if at all possible.

Remember to reach out to us if you’d like to speak to one of our attorneys to make sure you’re being fairly compensated for your hard work.

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