Overtime law is regulated by the United States federal government under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). FLSA was enacted in 1938 in response to widespread abuses in employment practices. FLSA set standards on minimum wage, overtime pay, and child labor regulations. Some types of employees are exempt from overtime regulations, while others are expressly protected. Until 2003, the overtime law exemption categories had not been changed since 1948, when the landscape of employment looked much different than it is today.
Overtime Law Rules
Changes in overtime law went into effect in August of 2004. Overtime law exemption rules underwent the most significant changes as well as other eligibility provisions. Under the original, unchanged, overtime law employees who are deemed eligible for overtime pay must be paid time and a half (for example if you make $20 an hour overtime pay would be $30 an hour) for work hours exceeding forty in a work week not including hours worked on weekends, holidays, and other days of rest. Any additional compensation for overtime hours is established through an agreement made between an employee and an employer.
The new provisions made to overtime law increased the minimum salary an employee must earn in order to be exempt from overtime wages. Previous any employee who earned more than $250 in a week may be exempt from overtime law benefits. Now, an employee must make $455 per week or more than $23,660 annually (in addition to fulfilling other requirements) in order to be exempt from overtime law standards.
New Regulations for Overtime Law
The new overtime law provisions prohibit the following employees from receiving compulsory overtime pay: executives, administrative workers, creative and learned professionals, some computer employees, and outside salespeople. There are a number of specific tests that an employee must pass in order to be exempt from overtime pay, which are all outlined in the FairPay overtime law provisions.
The new overtime law mandates that all blue collar workers receive overtime pay when they engage in manual labor as part of their employment responsibilities. Also, any employee who works in public service, law enforcement or first response fields shall also receive overtime pay under the changes in overtime law.
Overtime Law Violations
When an employer violates overtime law, employees have the right to file an overtime lawsuit to seek back pay for the wages they are entitled to. Complaints can be filed with the Department of Labors Employment Standards Administration Wage and Hour Division who investigates overtime law violations claim. In 2003 alone, this agency helped to recover $212 million dollars in back wages and $10 million in civil penalties for overtime law violation.
If you feel that you have not been adequately compensated for overtime work as outlined by overtime law, you may wish to contact a qualified and experienced workers compensation attorney who can determine your rights and options in a case to receive compensation for the wages you are legally entitled to.
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