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You Could Be Eligible For Overtime Pay: New Rule From Labor Department

October 13th, 2019 Victoria Breese

The Labor Department announced last month that it will expand overtime pay eligibility to up to 1.3 million workers under a new rule. This new rule will go into effect on January 1st, 2020. Under the new rule, most salaried workers who earn less than about $35,500 per year will be eligible for overtime pay, which is time and a half their usual pay rate. The current overtime threshold is only about $23,700. This is the first increase in the overtime threshold since 2004 under the Bush administration. The Obama administration attempted to rise the overtime threshold even higher to $47,500, covering millions more workers, but a federal judge suspended and invalidated the rule before it could go into effect. 

Labor Experts Speaks Out On New Overtime Rule

Patrick Pizzella, the acting labor secretary, spoke highly of the new rule when he said, “this rule brings a common-sense approach that offers consistency and certainty for employers as well as clarity and prosperity for American workers.” Some are praising the Trump administration for implementing this rule. They argue that the Obama administration’s threshold was far too high because it would require business owners to suddenly start paying out millions in overtime pay to workers who previously never qualified. However, others say that the Trump administration’s increase is not nearly enough. Heidi Shierholz, a former Labor Department chief economist, said “while the administration may be trumpeting this rule as a good thing for workers, that is a ruse . . . in reality, the rule leaves behind millions of workers who would have received overtime protections under the much stronger rule, published in 2016, that Trump administration abandoned.” Originally, the Trump administration appealed the court decision that struck down the Obama rule. Then, they abandoned the appeal in order to create this new rule. Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio said, “By failing to stand up for workers and expanding the overtime rule, the president is failing to put workers first and is driving down the value of work.”

Wage Increases Under New Overtime Pay Rule

The Trump administration’s new rule is estimated to yield workers $300 million to $600 million per year in wage increases over the next decade. Additionally, salaried workers who make more than the legal threshold can also be eligible for overtime pay if they lack substantial decision-making authority. If you are uncertain if you will now qualify for overtime pay under the new labor department rule, you should speak with an experienced employment attorney.

Seek Legal Assistance Today

If you have not been paid your rightful overtime wages, seek legal assistance today. The Working Solutions Law Firm, located in New York City, can assist you. Contact us today at (646) 430-7930 to schedule a free case evaluation and receive experienced legal counsel.