New Overtime Rules for Minimum Salary

Beth Dean 06.18.24
Graphic - Blog 2024-06-18 Overtime Rules

Exemptions from Overtime Pay: A Guide for Employers

The Department of Labor (DOL) has announced significant changes to overtime regulations for salaried employees exempt from overtime pay. Here’s a breakdown of what you need to know and how to prepare:

Key Changes:

Increased Salary Thresholds:

Currently, salaried workers earning more than $35,568 annually are exempt from overtime pay. This threshold will jump to $43,888 on July 1, 2024, and then to $58,656 on January 1, 2025.

Automatic Adjustments: 

Starting in 2027, the salary threshold will be automatically adjusted every three years to reflect wage changes and the cost of living.

Highly Compensated Workers: 

The minimum salary for the “highly compensated employee” exemption also rises to $132,964 on July 1, 2024, and $151,164 on January 1, 2025.

What You Should Do

1. Analyze Your Payroll

Start by identifying all salaried workers earning less than the new salary thresholds ($43,888 by July 1, 2024, and $58,656 by January 1, 2025). This will help you determine which employees will be impacted by the regulation changes.

2. Make Informed Decisions

For each affected employee, you’ll need to decide between two options:

  • Raise Salaries: Increase their salaries to meet the new threshold. This allows them to remain exempt from overtime pay.
  • Reclassify as Non-Exempt: Change their classification to non-exempt. These employees will then be eligible for overtime pay for any hours worked over 40 in a week.

Carefully consider each option’s financial implications and the potential impact on employee morale.

3. Address Employee Concerns

Develop a clear communication plan to inform affected employees about the upcoming changes. Explain the new regulations, answer any questions, and be prepared to address concerns about potential downgrades if reclassification is necessary.

4. Implement New Procedures

If you choose to reclassify employees, you’ll need to establish new procedures to ensure compliance. This may include:

  • Overtime Calculations: Define how you’ll calculate overtime pay in accordance with the law, considering elements like regular rate of pay and bonuses. This should already be established, but checking your practices for compliance is always good.
  • Timekeeping: If you don’t already have one, implement a system, such as time and attendance, for tracking employee hours for non-exempt workers.
  • Breaks and Device Usage: Review and potentially adjust policies on breaks, meal times, and use of company devices for non-exempt employees.
5. Train Managers and Employees

Provide training for both managers and newly reclassified employees. Managers must understand the new regulations and how to handle reclassified workers. Notify your reclassified employees of their rights and responsibilities regarding overtime, timekeeping, and breaks.

6. Stay Informed

While legal challenges to the new rule are expected (and already in progress), it’s important to plan as if it will take effect. We’ll stay up-to-date on legal developments so you can adjust your approach as needed.

7. Consider State Laws

Remember that some states may have stricter wage and hour requirements than federal law. Be sure to review and comply with all applicable regulations in your state. In cases where there are two laws, you must use the one that benefits the employee the most.

Remember, the salary threshold is just one test for overtime exemption. The pay rate alone does not make someone exempt from overtime pay. Employees must also meet specific job duty requirements to qualify as exempt.


July 1 update:

A court has blocked the new overtime rule for Texas state workers, letting them off the hook for a higher salary threshold for overtime exemptions. Note, this only applies to Texas state employees. Private Texas businesses and all businesses (private and state) nationwide still need to follow the new rule.

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