Labor Department Releases New Overtime Rules

April 20, 2004

WASHINGTON—U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao today announced the final regulations governing overtime eligibility for "white-collar" workers under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The regulations had not been substantially updated for over 50 years, creating confusion for workers and employers, generating wasteful class action litigation, and failing to effectively protect workers’ pay rights.

The new rules expand the number of workers eligible for overtime by nearly tripling the salary threshold. Under the 50-year-old regulations, only workers earning less than $8,060 annually were guaranteed overtime. Under the new rules, workers earning $23,660 or less are guaranteed overtime. This strengthens overtime protection for 6.7 million low-wage salaried workers, including 1.3 million salaried white collar workers who were not entitled to overtime pay under the existing regulations. These workers will gain up to $375 million in additional earnings every year.

To provide even stronger overtime protection for workers, the FairPay rules add new sections that clearly state that "blue-collar" workers, police officers, fire fighters, paramedics, emergency medical technicians, and licensed practical nurses are entitled to overtime protection.

The department's new FairPay rule will take effect in 120 days. It will be published in the Federal Register. The unofficially text version is available in the Related Documents.

Source:: Department of Labor


Contact ALTA at 202-296-3671 or communications@alta.org.

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