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New overtime rule to extend overtime pay to millions of (young) workers

Last month, the Department of Labor issued a final rule updating overtime protections for salaried workers under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The rule, which is set to go into effect December 1, is expected to make overtime pay available to an additional four million workers, many of whom are younger workers.

The rule extends overtime protections by doubling the salary limit for overtime eligibility from $23,660 per year, where it is at present, to $47,476 per year. Workers who earn the latter number or less on an annual basis will automatically be eligible for overtime wages. The percentage of workers between the ages of 25 and 34 eligible for overtime under the new rule is expected to increase from 9.1 percent to 38.4 percent. The rate is expected to significantly increase for 16- to 24-year-old workers as well. 

The rule is the first change made to overtime protections in over 10 years, and it isn’t universally agreed that the change is for the best. Employers, it is argued, will simply adjust their hiring and compensation policies to ensure the changes don’t cut into their bottom line. Whatever the case may be, it is still important for workers to be aware of their rights so they are able to recognize when an employer is not doing right by them.

For a worker, there is first the question of whether the Fair Labor Standards Act protections apply to them. The federal law does exempt certain types of workers from overtime pay protections. These exemptions are applied based on very specific criteria, though. In our next post, we’ll continue looking at this topic and how an experienced attorney can help a worker protect his or her rights against an unscrupulous employer. 

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