Margot Bartell is a seasoned professor in labor law, boasting an extensive and notable academic journey. She has a penchant for simplifying intricate legal jargon for her audience to grasp without difficulty. A true Massachusetts local, Margot finds pleasure in sailing.
Overtime law in the United States is primarily regulated by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), a federal law that sets the standards for minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and youth employment. Under FLSA, employees who work more than 40 hours in a workweek are entitled to receive overtime pay, at a rate not less than one and a half times their regular rates of pay.
Unraveling the Intricacies of US Overtime Law 🕒
The FLSA's overtime provision applies to employees who are classified as "non-exempt," which includes most hourly and some salaried employees. However, there are exceptions to this rule. Certain employees, such as executives, administrators, professionals, and outside sales employees, are classified as "exempt" and are not eligible for overtime pay. Determining whether an employee is exempt or non-exempt can be complex and is based on several factors including the nature of their job duties and their salary. For a better understanding of the classification of exempt and non-exempt employees, you can refer to this article.
It's important to note that each state may have its own laws regarding overtime pay. For instance, California and Nevada have daily overtime laws, requiring employers to pay overtime to employees who work more than a certain number of hours in a day, irrespective of the total weekly hours. You can read more about these laws in these articles: Nevada labor laws and California labor laws.
Why is the Overtime Law Stirring Up Controversy? 🌪️
Despite its intention to protect workers' rights, the overtime law in the United States has been a source of controversy for several reasons.
Exempt or Non-Exempt: The Employee Classification Debate 👥
One of the main controversies revolves around the classification of employees as exempt or non-exempt. Some employers might misclassify employees as exempt to avoid paying overtime, which can lead to legal disputes. You can learn more about this issue in this FAQ.
The Heated Discussion Around Overtime Eligibility Threshold 💰
Another controversial aspect is the salary threshold for overtime eligibility. In 2020, the Department of Labor raised the salary threshold from $455 per week to $684 per week. This means that employees who earn less than $684 per week are automatically eligible for overtime, regardless of their job duties. However, some argue that the increase was not enough and does not adequately protect low-wage workers.