New overtime laws to be implemented by the Labor Department

The Labor Department is planning for an adjustment to its categorization of workers who are legally entitled to get overtime pay. Currently, workers who earn $23,660 annually or less can receive overtime. Those who make more than that can be considered salaried. However, on Jan. 1, that threshold will rise to $35,568 for workers throughout Tennessee and the rest of the U.S.


As a result of the expansion, the number of workers eligible for overtime will increase by approximately 1.3 million. However, some critics say that the new law doesn't go far enough in protected salaried employees from working over 40 hours in a week without receiving additional pay.

Former President Barack Obama had proposed a law that would have increased the overtime exemption minimum to $47,000 a year. Around 3 million workers would have benefited. However, that proposal was struck down by a judge in Texas and the Trump administration set the new rule at a lower amount. Economists have stated that the Trump proposal is unlikely to benefit as many people. In addition, it does not increase commensurately with inflation and may not change again for decades. The threshold was last adjusted in 2004.

While there are laws in place to regulate what businesses pay their employees for overtime, violations are not uncommon. These can range from underpayment, failing to pay overtime, claiming workers were not on the clock, misclassifying employees and more. To receive the wages earned, a wronged employee may want to initiate legal action. An attorney with experience in wage and hour laws might be able to help a client recover lost income.

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