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Overtime rule to raise minimum pay for exemptions

Some California workers may have changes in their overtime status in 2019, but the changes will not be as drastic as those that were in the original rule put forth by the Obama administration. That rule raised the amount for the white-collar overtime exemption to $47,476 from $23,660 and the highly compensated exemption from $100,000 to $134,004.

The rule was due to take effect in December 2016, but just beforehand, a Texas federal court declared it invalid. Following an initial appeal, the Department of Labor decided to revise the rule instead. Although the Wage and Hour Division of the DOL said in fall 2018 that a new proposal would be released by March 2019, the rule went to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in January. The OIRA may spend up to 90 days reviewing it and can then extend that time. The review includes making sure alternatives have been considered, examining benefits and costs and integrating public comments.

However, the exemptions are likely to be significantly lowered with the new rule. It is anticipated that the white-collar exemption will be under $35,000.

People who believe they are owed unpaid overtime may want to contact an attorney to discuss the situation and what they should do next. An employer might be failing to pay an employee overtime because the employee has been misclassified as exempt from overtime or as a contract employee. Employers might try to underpay employees in other ways as well, such as not paying them for time spent on certain duties that are necessary to do their jobs. An attorney may also be able to advise the best course of action if the employer attempts to retaliate against the employee for raising the issue.

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