With recent changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), many business owners – and their employees – are trying to figure out exactly who qualifies as exempt from overtime pay under the new rules. Unless you’re ready to dig into Department of Labor (DOL) fact sheets and other documents, it’s not always clear just what counts as white collar exemption these days. To help, we’ve put together a breakdown of these exemptions to help you properly classify your employees.
The Department of Labor announced a proposal in early March to change the salary-level threshold for white-collar exemptions. This move comes more than two years after a federal judge blocked another attempt to update the threshold for overtime eligibility, although the details of the proposal differ from the 2016 proposal.
The current salary-level threshold for white-collar exemptions is $23,600 annually, which equates to $455 per week. The DoL’s new proposal seeks to increase the threshold to $35,308 annually ($679 per week) – nearly halfway to the DoL’s 2016 target threshold of $47,476 ($913 per week).
While the new proposal is notably lower than the blocked attempt, it still marks a nearly 50 percent increase from the current wage threshold. As a result, the DoL “estimates that 1.1 million currently exempt employees who earn at least $455 per week but less than the proposed standard salary level of $679 per week would, without some intervening action by their employers, become eligible for overtime.” That’s a notable change that can have a direct impact on your employee’s compensation.