New Overtime Laws: What They Could Mean for You

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I remember thinking how awesome my first salaried job was. I was right out of college, working as a Communications Specialist for a non-profit. I didn’t mind the long hours to hit deadlines or the entire weekends I spent working 12-hour days at events.

Looking back, I realize that I probably worked more than 60 hours each week, sometimes more. That means I was making an hourly rate that was a little less than what I made working at a grocery store during my summers out of college—but without the overtime.

New Proposed Overtime Laws

The Department of Labor recently proposed an overhaul of overtime regulations. Currently, all hourly workers as well as salaried employees making less than $23,660 annually are eligible for overtime pay, which is time and a half. If the Department of Labor has its way, by 2016, salaried workers who make less than $50,440 a year will automatically be eligible for overtime.

If you are a salaried worker and happen to fall within that threshold, here’s what that could mean for you:

  • You could see a bump in your paycheck. Under the new rules, you would start to earn overtime for the extra time over 40 hours you put in at work. This means your paychecks will start getting a little bigger. They will also vary; instead of getting a set amount each week or every other week, depending on the number of hours you put in, you won’t see the exact same amount each week. The good news is, it won’t be less than what you see now.
  • You’ll probably work less. Few employers want to spend more than they have to. A likely scenario is that many employers will start placing limits on the amount of overtime both salaried and hourly employees can work. So while you won’t see a pay cut, there won’t be any increases in your checks, either.
  • You might see your benefits change. If your employer starts paying more money in overtime across the board, your benefits might change. For example, you may see fewer bonuses or changes in your health plan.

There are may other scenarios that could arise from increased overtime thresholds, if the law is passed. What do you think about the potential changes?

Posted in: Career and Work, Money

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