Seminar on FLSA Overtime Developments and other Wage and Hour Issues

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On July 9, 2015, the Department of Labor issued a proposed rule that would significantly expand the number of employees eligible for overtime.

Currently, employers are required to pay all employees overtime, unless they are exempt from the FLSA’s overtime requirements.  The most common of these exemptions are the “white collar” exemptions, which apply to certain executive, administrative and professional employees.  An employer who wishes to avoid overtime under a white collar exemption must pass both a “duties test” (meaning that the employee must perform significant non-manual duties that typically require independent judgment) and a “salary basis test” (which currently means that the employee must be paid a salary not less than $455 per week, or $23,660 annually).

Under its new proposal, the DOL would, among other things, raise the white collar salary requirements to a minimum of $921 per week, or $47,892 annually.  As a result, employees who are currently treated by their employers as exempt because they earn at least $455 per week may soon become eligible for overtime should their salaries fall below the more rigorous proposed salary basis test.

This summer has also seen the DOL issue an administrator’s interpretation regarding the misclassification of workers as independent contractors, in which the DOL decreed that “most workers are employees” under the FLSA, and, therefore, entitled to overtime when working more than forty hours per week.

The DOL’s proposed changes to the salary basis test and related administrator’s interpretation come at a time when wage and hour lawsuits are becoming so pervasive that television advertisements for overtime claims now seem as common as advertisements for automobile accident cases.

In response to the DOL’s recent actions, and in light of a noteworthy increase in the already active area of overtime litigation, Smith & Downey will be holding a seminar on wage and hour claim issues, which will include a discussion on practical steps that employers can take now to minimize the risk of liability under federal and state wage laws.

The seminar will be held on Wednesday, September 16th, from 8:30 – 11:00 a.m. at Abilities Network, 8503 LaSalle Road, Towson, MD 21286.  As always, there is no charge for the seminar.  Please contact Alison Christian at achristian@smithdowney.com or (410) 321-9000 to register.  (Light refreshments will be served.)