On December 1, 2016, the Department of Labor’s (DOL) overtime rule will go into effect. This ruling will significantly change the requirements for overtime exemption by raising the salary threshold at which eligible workers qualify for overtime pay from $23,660 to $47,476 per year. The modified salary threshold is equal to the 40th percentile of earnings of full-time salaried workers in the lowest-wage Census Region.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was established to guarantee a minimum wage for all hours worked during the workweek and overtime premium pay for work over 40 hours during a workweek, with exemptions for executive, administrative, professional, outside sales, and computer employees. These exemptions, referred to as the EAP or white collar exemptions, were created under the presumption that employees with white collar jobs have higher salaries and enjoy other privileges. This Final Rule allows the DOL to effectively distinguish between overtime eligible white collar employees and those that are exempt.