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New York employers may pay more overtime after 2016

New Fair Labor Standards Act rules could redefine who is legally eligible for overtime pay and how much they get. Those affected may include individuals who fulfill various professional roles, including management and administration. The U.S. Department of Labor has proposed significantly increasing the threshold of what salary levels qualify as exempt from FLSA overtime. The agency hopes that this will reduce the incidence of employees being denied their proper overtime pay because their employers use their salaries to incorrectly classify their worker status.

At the time of reporting, the DOL had yet to settle on how it might update its exemption thresholds, although the recommended rules would institute some form of automatic structure for evaluating exemption eligibility. The DOL also plans to revise its overtime compensation guidelines each year in accordance with information released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Reports say that should they qualify, most employees will enjoy a salary threshold exemption increase from $455 to more than $900 per week. Should the annual recalculation scheme go through as proposed, employers will have 60 days of notice between when the DOL makes the new salary levels public and the time they become law each year.

Overtime disputes can be hard on workers. Although most employers are legally bound to provide extra pay for those who work extra hours, they may resist doing so on a number of grounds. In some cases, such actions constitute a denial of worker rights, but those who try to fight back sometimes face illegal retaliation or harassment from their bosses. Individuals who have been denied wages or similarly mistreated may want to have the assistance of an attorney in pursuing restitution.

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