The Department of Labor just issued a long-awaited final rule amending regulations on the “white collar” executive, administrative, professional, and computer employee exemptions from its minimum wage and overtime rules. Most importantly, the rule doubled the salary threshold for the those exemptions from $455 a week ($23,660 a year) to $913 a week ($47,476 a year), and the threshold is then to be adjusted every three years.
If a supposedly exempt employee is not paid at least the new salary, he or she will not be considered exempt, and must be paid minimum wage and overtime. Just paying an employee the salary threshold does not make them exempt, however; the employee’s duties must still match the duties tests set out in the rules for each exemption.
The Labor Department estimates the new rule will affect 320,000 employees in Texas. The amended regulations do not take effect until December 1, 2016, giving employers some time to get into compliance. Somewhat helpfully, the Department suggested an employer may respond to the new rule by paying time and a half for overtime, raise workers’ salaries above the new threshold, limit workers’ hours to 40 per work, or some combination thereof.