WASHINGTON, DC — As government administrations change, so do the organizations that support the government such as the Department of Labor (DOL). Perhaps the most debated DOL proposal from the last administration, the increase in salary threshold for overtime exemptions to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), is still undecided. The rule would have increased the minimum salary of an employee classified as exempt from $26,661 to $47,476. However, the rule was blocked last year by a nationwide injunction. The injunction, which was issued by a federal judge in Texas, was subsequently appealed by the Department of Labor and remains undecided. However, after President Trump tapped Alexander Acosta as the new Secretary of Labor, the Department’s position on Obama’s overtime rule may no longer be valid.
What Are Employees Entitled To Under FLSA And The Final Rule?
While the Final Rule will be changing which workers will be eligible to receive overtime benefits, the benefits themselves will remain unchanged. The primary overtime benefit is the payment of at least “time-and-a-half,” or 1.5 times standard pay rate, for each hour an employee works beyond 40 hours. This policy applies to salaried workers whose earnings fall below the overtime salary threshold – which has been raised with the passing of the Final Rule.
Does The Current Salary Threshold For The Final Rule Include Other Compensation?
While the Final Rule gives employees a great deal of power to pursue overtime pay benefits, it does include a provision that grant employers some flexibility. This flexibility comes in the form of an employer being able to use non-discretionary bonuses, incentive pay, and commissions to meet the EAP salary threshold. Non-discretionary bonuses differ from discretionary bonuses as they are promised to an employee to incentive them to work more efficiently or stay with the company.
However, there several stipulations that restrict just how much flexibility is offered to employers. These stipulations are as follows:
- Payments must be made on – at minimum – a quarterly basis
- Payments may not exceed more than 10% of the required salary threshold
In the event that an employee fails to earn sufficient enough bonuses or commissions, they must receive a “true-up” payment immediately after the quarter ends to align their compensation with the salary threshold. If an employer fails to issue this payment to their employee, that employee would be eligible to pursue overtime benefits as laid out by the Final Rule.
Can I file an FLSA lawsuit against my employer for unpaid overtime?
Yes, you may be able to file an FLSA lawsuit against your employer for unpaid overtime. FLSA lawsuits seek to hold employers accountable for failing to pay the required wages to their workers. These claims seek payment of unpaid or underpaid wages, attorney’s fees, and litigation expenses. Some cases may also force the payment of liquidated damages, which are money damages beyond just the receiving the back pay for unpaid wages.
If your employer owes you overtime wages for work performed, even dating several years back, our top-rated attorneys can file a claim for you to recover the unpaid wages that you are owed. There are strict time deadlines for filing FLSA lawsuits, so it is essential that you contact an attorney immediately. If you wait, you may lose your ability to recover some or all of your back pay.
The administration, the Department of Labor, and other arms of the government are still seeking an answer to whether the Obama era rule will be pushed forward. Although most lean toward no, a judge in Texas has challenged the DOL’s power in deciding this minimum salary level at all.
FLSA Overtime Lawsuits
Call (855) 754-2795 or complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form on the top right of this page if you believe that your wage rights are being violated under the FLSA. Our top-rated team of unpaid wage lawyers will evaluate your situation to determine your best course of action to help you seek justice.
Our office will also determine if it is in your best interest to file a lawsuit against your employer. Because strict time limitations apply for filing these types of claims, we advise you contact our experienced unpaid overtime wage attorneys at your earliest convenience and preserve your legal rights.