The Fair Labor Standards Act establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, record keeping, and youth employment standards affecting employees in the private sector and in Federal, State, and local governments. The rules and regulations established by the Fair Labor Standards Act are complicated by differing state laws and regulations making it sometimes very difficult to understand. We make it our business to know the intricacies of the wage laws involved and how they affect you and your employment. If you have any questions regarding your own situation and the wage laws in your state, please send your background information and/or question using the online form in the sidebar on the right.
AN OVERVIEW OF FLSA FAIRPAY OVERTIME RULES
New Salary Rules Effective January 1, 2020
The Trump Administration’s Department of Labor has announced the final revised Overtime Rule for salaried employees, which will set the minimum salary required for the Executive, Administrative, and Professional overtime exemptions. The new overtime rule sets the minimum yearly salary for exempt employees at $35,568 or $684 per week, versus the current salary requirement of $23,600/year or $455 per week.
This, as expected, is much lower than the minimum salary of $47,476 proposed by the Obama administration. It is also far below the $55,000 it would have been had the salary been adjusted for inflation since 1975.
MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE
The FLSA was amended to increase the federal minimum wage in three steps: to $5.85 per hour effective July 24, 2007; to $6.55 per hour effective July 24, 2008; and to $7.25 per hour effective July 24, 2009. Many states also have minimum wage laws. Where an employee is subject to both the state and federal minimum wage laws, the employee is entitled to the higher minimum wage rate. Individual states have increasingly implemented minimum wage regulations that require a higher wage than under federal law. Such states that have made such updates to their minimum wage laws include the following:
- California – Current minimum wage set at $11.00 for employers with 25 employees or less; $12.00 for all others
- Arizona – Current minimum wage set at $11.00 per hour
- Colorado – Current minimum wage set at $11.10 per hour
- Montana – Current minimum wage set at $8.15 per hour
- Washington – Current minimum wage set at $12 per hour
- Oregon – Current standard minimum wage set at $11.25 per hour
- Vermont – Current minimum wage set at $10.78 per hour
- Connecticut – Current minimum wage set at $11.00 per hour
- Illinois – Current minimum wage set at $8.25 per hour
- Nevada – Current minimum wage set at $8.25 per hour ($7.25 if health benefits are offered)
- Massachusetts – Current minimum wage set at $12.00 per hour
- New York – Current minimum wage ranges from $11.10 to $15.00 per hour depending on employer size and location
- New Jersey – Current minimum wage set at $10.00 per hour
- Ohio – Current minimum wage set at $8.55 per hour
- Florida – Current minimum wage set at $8.46 per hour
FAIR PAY RULES
The Department of Labor (DOL) released the “FairPay” rules that went into effect on August 23, 2004. These FairPay overtime laws make some significant changes to the old rules and are intended to strengthen protections and rights for 6.7 million American workers, including 1.3 million low-wage workers who were denied overtime under the old rules. Under the new FairPay rules, workers earning less than $23,660* ($35,568 as of 1/1/2020) per year or $455* ($684 as of 1/1/2020) per week are guaranteed overtime protection. As before, mere job titles do not determine an employee’s exempt or non-exempt status and entitlement to overtime pay. Under the new rules, certain workers are automatically eligible for overtime pay regardless of how much they earn:
- “Blue collar” workers or other manual laborers who perform work involving repetitive operations with their hands, physical skill and energy
- Police officers, fire fighters, paramedics and other “first responders”
- Licensed practical nurses
* 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. Instead, the Trump Administration only increased the minimum “exempt” salary to $684 per week ($35,568 per year) as of 1/1/2020. Please see this page for the latest updates.