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Employers checking into overtime laws
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Employers are getting more than six months to prepare for overtime regulation changes that go into effect Dec. 1, 2016.
On May 18, 2016, President Barack Obama announced the publication of the Department of Labor’s final rule updating overtime regulations, which will automatically extend overtime pay protection to over 4 million workers within the first year of implementation.
While some individuals will be unaffected by the changes, others will be. Warren County government has two to three employees who may no longer qualify for salaried status.
“These changes are mandatory,” said finance director Linda Hillis. “It’s under the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division regarding overtime pay.”
The Wages and Fair Labor Standards Act establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and youth employment standards affecting employees in the private sector and in federal, state and local governments. Covered nonexempt workers are entitled to a minimum wage of not less than $7.25 per hour and must receive overtime pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek at a rate not less than time and a half their regular rate.
In order to be an exempt employee, a person must pass all the tests set down under the new overtime regulations. If an individual is exempt, he or she can be designated by their employer as salaried, meaning they are paid a set salary regardless of the hours worked and not provided overtime pay.
The following Warren County departments are currently under review to see if the employees overseeing them should be salaried or hourly by the new guidelines: Warren County Animal Control and Adoption Center director Kim Pettrey, Codes Department director Richard Thompson, and Emergency Management Agency director Jim Cunningham.
Hillis says the issue in those departments is the number of employees.
“Under the new regulations, the individual has to oversee at least two full-time employees to be considered exempt and eligible to be a salaried employee,” Hillis said. “There are other requirements to be exempt. You have to meet all those. If you don’t meet one, you can’t be considered exempt. We just got this information from CTAS on May 18 so were are still trying to process everything.”
Pettrey oversees two part-time employees, Thompson is the only employee in his department, and Cunningham oversees one employee. All three are salaried employees.
No decision has been made.