The Changing Face of the American Workplace: Should You Be Getting Overtime Pay?

Though the concept of protecting the American worker’s right to be paid for all work accomplished on behalf of an employer by way of the Fair Labor Act is fairly simple, the implementation of such an ideal has proven to be complicated.

Enacted in 1938 and revised in 2004, the Fair Labor Act, actually named the Fair Labor Standards Act or FLSA,  mandates that all eligible employees must receive at least the minimum wage and be paid time and a half for each hour worked in excess of 40 hours per workweek. Most hourly employees who do not provide any managerial or discretionary services and are usually paid less than $455* per week (Update: $684 per week as of 1/1/2020) are subject to the protection of the FLSA and are supposed to receive overtime pay.

* The Department of Labor under the Obama Administration increased this salary amount to $913 per week effective 12/1/2016; however, this increase was blocked by a court ruling. The Trump Administration has instead only increased the minimum salary to $684 per week, effective 1/1/2020. The prior salary limit was $455/week.  Please see this page for the latest updates.

Exempt employees, further defined under the FairPay Overtime Rules, who are not eligible for overtime pay are those who do have discretionary and managerial duties, are usually paid by salary, and generally include professional, executive, or administrative employees who are usually paid a yearly salary in weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly installments.

Over time, however, the clear-cut distinctions between blue and white collar workers have become vague due to technical advances. Many “white collar” now perform administrative duties and fill out paperwork with little or no thought, and little or none of the discretionary power or managerial duties that were once the hallmark of “white collar” workers. Many assistant managers spend most of their day doing the same tasks as their “underlings” without the benefit of being paid for their overtime.

American workers today bear little resemblance to the workers of 50 or 100 years ago.  Many employees that were traditionally exempt from overtime pay are increasingly benefiting from the protection of the Fair Labor Act through lawsuits and class action suits that test the relevance of the original definitions.  Many employees are now receiving deserved compensation for the countless overtime hours they put in.

If you think that you might be misclassified and should be receiving overtime pay, completely fill in the Lore Law Firm’s online Case Evaluation Form so that our competent overtime lawyers can help you decide on the merits of your case.