ABKLaw BLOG: New Development in Employment Law: Dramatic Increase in Employees Eligible for Overtime Pay

BLOG from #ABKLaw Lawrence Spasojevich, Esq.:  New Development in Employment Law: Dramatic Increase in Employees Eligible for Overtime Pay  

 “Remember, everything is right until it’s wrong.” – Ernest Hemingway  

Everyone, paid either by salary or paid by the hour, is entitled to receive overtime pay until they are properly classified as “exempt”. As an employee’s wage is an exchange of talent and time for money, it is important to ensure an employee is paid correctly, including receiving time and a half for all hours worked over forty (40) in a work week.   

In September, the United States Department of Labor took a step to increase the amount of individuals who are entitled to receive overtime pay by increasing the minimum salary, or “salary threshold”, an individual must be paid in order to qualify as exempt from $455.00 per week to $684.00 per week. According to the Department of Labor, an additional 1.3 million Americans will now be eligible for overtime pay. In New York City, the minimum salary is even larger at $1,125.00 a week.  

Taking a step back, there are three major exemptions that businesses use to prevent employees from receiving overtime pay: administrative, managerial, or professional. Importantly, it is the burden of the employer to prove that an employee is exempt.  

For the managerial exemption, four simple questions can be asked to find out if an employee is exempt in New York City:    

  1. Do you manage how the business is run?
  2. Do you supervise two employees?
  3. Do you hire, fire, or discipline?
  4. Is your salary more than $1,125.00 a week?  

For the administrative exemption, its another four simple questions that can be asked to find out if an employees is exempt in New York City:  

  1. Does your work directly relate to the operation of the business?
  2. Are your decisions at work your own?
  3. Does your work require special training?
  4. Is your salary more than $1,125.00 a week?

Finally, for the professional exemption, its three simple questions for employees in New York City:             

  1. Do you have an advanced degree in science or learning?
  2. Is your job artistic in nature?
  3. Are your decisions at work your own?

 

If the answer to any of these questions is no or maybe, an employee may not be exempt and should be paid at the overtime rate for all hours worked over forty in a work week. In New York, an employee can “look back” six years and recover all overtime pay that the employee was owed. Not only can an employee recover unpaid overtime wages, but may be entitled to receive of the amount that was not paid.

If there is any question as to whether an exemption applies, call the offices of Aidala, Bertuna & Kamins, P.C. for a consultation at (212) 468 – 0011. The consultation is free and confidential.  

 

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