Salaried workers and overtime pay

Just because a person receives a salary does not mean they are not entitled to overtime pay.

Under new rules from the U.S. Department of Labor that go into effect Dec. 1, many salaried workers who were not eligible for overtime pay in the past will become eligible. Learn more about the new overtime rules.

Are you receiving overtime pay when you should?

The Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor Act classifies workers as either exempt or nonexempt. Exempt workers do not have a right to receive overtime. Nonexempt workers do.

Exempt workers include highly compensated employees, as well as those in managerial, professional and administrative positions and are paid a salary above a certain amount. Most other workers, including production workers, are entitled to overtime if they work more than 40 hours a week.

In the past, employers had to pay exempt workers a salary of at least $23,600 to avoid the overtime requirement. Starting Dec. 1, exempt workers must earn a salary of at least $47,476 annually. To be considered highly compensated, workers must earn at least $134,004 a year.

What if my employer does not pay me overtime when it is required?

If you are a nonexempt worker and your employer does not pay you overtime when it is required, you have the right to sue your employer and recover double the amount of pay you are owed. You may also be able to recover attorney fees.

The differences between which workers are exempt from the overtime requirement and which are not are subtle, and only an experienced attorney can advise you if you are entitled to overtime.

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