November 29, 2020

Volume X, Number 334


Final Rule on Overtime Issued by the U.S. Department of Labor

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has updated the regulations defining which white collar workers are protected by the minimum wage and overtime standards of the Fair Labor Standards Act. These changes are expected to provide overtime to more than four million additional employees at a significant cost to employers, if employers do not analyze their current workforces. The full regulation is posted on the Federal Register's public inspection website. Click here to view.

Effective December 1, 2016, employers will be subject to new overtime rules issued by the DOL. To be ineligible for overtime, employees must be paid a predetermined fixed salary of at least $913 per week ($47,476 per year). If the employee’s salary does not meet this threshold, the employee must be paid overtime for any hours worked over 40 hours per week. In addition to meeting the salary basis test, employers must ensure all employees have been properly classified according to the actual duties the employees perform. If an employee does not meet the salary basis test and does not perform executive, administrative or professional duties, as defined in the DOL’s regulations, the employee will eligible for overtime.

The new salary requirements will be automatically increased every three (3) years beginning January 1, 2020, to prevent the requirements from becoming outdated. The DOL also provides that certain highly compensated employees are not eligible for overtime. The minimum highly compensated salary will increase from $100,000 to $134,400.

It will be necessary for employers to promptly analyze the impact the final rule will have on each employee and determine how it will respond to the new rules by increasing salaries of those properly classified as executive, administrative, or professional to meet new salary level, paying more overtime, limiting overtime hours, or reducing base salary to compensate for overtime hours while still paying the hourly minimum wage. Illinois employers also must still consider Public Act 93-0672, which followed the federal law changes made to compensation threshold as proposed in the Federal Register on March 31, 2003, but committed Illinois employers to continue classifying employees within the definitions of executive, administrative, and professional under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the rules adopted under the FLSA as they both existed on March 30, 2003.

Illinois employers will need to review the definitions of executive, administrative, and professional under both the pre-March 31, 2003 classifications and the current federal definitions to determine which is more favorable to the employee for overtime purposes.

© 2020 Heyl, Royster, Voelker & Allen, P.CNational Law Review, Volume VI, Number 141



About this Author

Employers are faced with more and more challenges in running their businesses due to the vast number of laws and regulations governing the workplace. An incorrect decision today may cost an employer a tremendous amount of time and money in the future. Our Employment & Labor Practice spans our six offices to provide a team approach to advising and defending employers on the most areas affecting employment, such as disciplinary actions, terminations, reductions-in-force, wage and hour issues, restrictive covenants, employment agreements, and various leave issues.

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