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NYC Litigation Blog

Monday, February 10, 2020

Attention Employees: You May Be Entitled to Overtime

What is the new salary minimum to be considered exempt from overtime?

As of January 1, 2020, it is estimated that about one million additional employees may be eligible to receive overtime. The Department of Labor has issued its final rule increasing the salary minimum for certain employees to be exempt from overtime. Per the rule, employees who make under this amount will now be entitled to time and one-half for any hours worked over 40 hours a week. The new overtime salary minimums are significant as previous exemption rates were set 15 years ago. All salaried employees in New York will want to closely review both the new federal and New York state overtime rules to ensure they are receiving the legally correct amount of pay.

The FLSA Overtime Rule

Per the new Department of Labor rule, the minimum salary that an employee must earn to be considered exempt from overtime has increased to $684 per week or $35,568 per year. This is up from the previous minimum of $465 per week and $23,660 per year. Nonexempt employees are entitled to receive at least time and one-half their regular pay rate for any hours worked over 40.

It is not enough that an employee receives over the salary threshold. Further, the employee’s job duties must involve primarily professional, executive, or administrative duties. Highly compensated employees must receive at least $107,432. Some bonuses and incentive payments can be applied towards meeting up to ten percent of the salary level. Now, any employers who have been exempting their executive-level employees from overtime will need to either raise their salaries or pay their employees the requisite overtime.

New York’s Overtime Rules

New York state has its own labor laws that entitle some employees to overtime who would not receive overtime based on federal law. Per New York law, executive, administrative, or professional employees within New York City must make $1,125 per week, while those working in Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester counties must earn $975 per week. In the remainder of the state, employees must earn $885 per week to be considered exempt. Employees must further meet the state’s definition of an executive, professional, or administrative employee. For instance, an executive employee must be primarily in charge of managing the enterprise, dictating work to employees, and hiring and firing.

Any employee who believes they are entitled to overtime but have not been paid what they are owed should contact an employment law attorney right away. You may be a victim of wage theft and be entitled to bring an action against your employer.


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