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Flailing overtime rules under further review

As a previous post here noted, the former presidential administration finalized a rule that would have expanded overtime benefits to an additional 4 or 5 million workers, both in California and around the rest of the country. Now, these rules are under reconsideration by the Trump Administration, and the Department of Labor is inviting additional comments from the public on the rules.

To review, the rules increased the salary threshold for "exempt" employees who work under a salary. In many cases, employees who earn a salary for professional or management positions do not get overtime for working over 40 hours a week, presumably because they are getting paid more. However, under the current rules, a person can be "exempt" even if they make under $24,000 a year. The new rules, which were originally stalled by litigation, would have set the minimum salary for an exempt employee at above $47,000 a year.

Although nothing is definitive yet, the current Administration seems to be trying to avoid confronting the pending litigation, which several business trade groups filed, and instead just revising the rule to make it more palatable to certain businesses, many of which are complaining that the new rule will make their wage costs unaffordable. The public is free to comment on this ongoing issue until September 25 by submitting comments to the Labor Department.

In the meantime, Los Angeles residents should remember that getting misclassified as an "exempt" employee is a common cause of unpaid overtime, as an employer can use the "exempt" status to require employees to work extra hours, effectively reducing their hourly wage if they are on a fixed salary. Those who feel they have been wrongly deprived overtime pay may be eligible for legal relief.

Source: The Kansas City Star, "Trump's Labor Department eyes remake of Obama's stalled overtime rules," Dianne Stafford, Aug. 10, 2017

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Law Offices of Allan A. Sigel, P.C.

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