By Don Ogle 

Labor law workshop

 


Local employers and bookkeeping professionals were invited to an informational workshop Wednesday, where they were given a rundown on new overtime rules that will go into effect in December.

Sponsored by the Cheyenne County Chamber of Commerce and hosted by Sidney Regional Medical Center, the event gave employers a look at new provisions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FSLA). The changes are the result of a 2014 order by President Obama to the Labor Department to revise federal overtime laws.

The new rule, intended to boost low and middle-income wages, was announced in June of last year and takes effect December 1.

Blue collar and other hourly wage workers are the least likely to be affected by the new rule, as they already qualify for overtime. Those potentially benefitting from the change are salaried, white collar workers. Those workers are exempt from overtime rules, with exemptions provided for under the FSLA.

For those workers, the new rule raises the salary threshold at which white-collar workers are exempt from overtime pay from $23,660 to $47,476, or from $455 to $913 per week.

Katie Thurber, general councel from the Nebraska Department of Labor, reviewed the rules and exemptions at Wednesday’s meeting. As Thurber explained, employees generally must meet certain tests regarding their job duties to qualify for overtime. In order for an exemption to apply, an employee’s specific job duties and salary must meet requirements of Department of Labor regulations.


There are a variety of classifications under which workers qualify, including executives, administrators, professional and computer classifications, highly compensated employees, and others.

Thurber explained how compensation can be made to meet requirements, saying not all must be done through regular wages. Additional payment through bonuses can also be made.

More information on the standards and requirements can be obtained on state and federal department of labor websites.

 

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