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New regulations for overtime pay

Salaried restaurant employees in New York and around the nation are guaranteed time-and-a-half pay if they earn less than the exemption after working more than 40 hours a week. On Dec. 1, 2016, regulations issued under the Fair Labor Standards Act will approximately double the exepmtion. The rule will raise the overtime threshold from $23,660 per year or $455 per week to $47,500 a year or $913 per week. Restaurant owners are expected to be in full compliance with the regulations.

Depending on the type of work they perform and their salary, most workers are categorized as exempt or non-exempt. Salaried workers who earn more than the threshold should undergo a duties test determine whether they can be classified as exempt. If their work duties include primarily administrative, professional or executive tasks, they may not be eligible for overtime pay. Hourly employee are eligible to receive overtime pay. Employees should be aware of the three ways their employers can be compliant with the new regulations. The employers can increase the salaries of non-exempt employees so that the exemption status remains. Employers can opt to reclassify hourly employees as salaried employees. Salaried employees can also be reclassified as hourly and have their base pay adjusted to account for overtime.

Employers are not obligated to notify their employees in writing or to verify that they are aware of the change. However, employers should make it a priority to inform their employees about the update policy in a timely manner so that they can be prepared for the changes.

Overtime disputes can occur when an employer fails to adequately compensate an employee as required by law. An attorney who handles wage and hour law cases might find it advisable to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor, the agency that has jurisdiction over FSLA matters.

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