Millions of Salaried Employees Could Become Eligible for Overtime Pay

As early as May 2023, employees may see changes to the U.S. Department of Labor’s overtime regulations. Three U.S. Senate Democrats have proposed a bill that would increase the minimum salary requirement for overtime exemption from $684 per week, or about $36,000 per year, to $75,000 per year by 2026. Additionally, the bill seeks to permanently link the exemption threshold to the 55th percentile of earnings for workers, as calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Currently, fewer than 15% of all full-time salaried workers receive overtime pay.

The Restoring Overtime Pay bill was introduced in March 2023 by Senators Sherrod Brown, Chuck Schumer, and Bernie Sanders. The bill aims to modify the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and increase the number of workers who qualify for time-and-a-half overtime pay. This proposed bill is designed to ease financial and job-related pressure on employees from the working and middle class. The proposal intends to enhance overtime safeguards and ensure that a minimum of 55% of salaried employees qualify for overtime pay. Presently, workers earning approximately $36,000 annually are entitled to overtime pay. However, if passed, this legislation would increase that starting point to $45,000 per year instantly, gradually raising it every year for the next five years until over 50% of salaried workers across the country become eligible for overtime compensation.

Currently, the determination of overtime exemption for a worker depends not only on your salary, but also largely depends on your job duties.

If you are an employee who works more than 40 hours per week and you are not receiving overtime pay, you may have a legal claim against your employer – even under current regulations. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, most employees are entitled to overtime pay at a rate of one-and-a-half times their regular hourly rate for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek. However, some employers may misclassify their employees as exempt from overtime pay, either intentionally or unintentionally. The analysis can be complicated and many employees simply assume that they are not eligible for overtime pay because they are salaried or hold certain job titles. Our experienced employment lawyers at Fitapelli & Schaffer can help you understand your rights under the FLSA and assess whether you have a valid claim for unpaid overtime. Contact us today to schedule a free and confidential consultation.