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The New Overtime Rule Has Arrived

Photo of Steven Snyder

Earlier today, the President announced the final version of the new overtime rule, which will take effect on December, 1, 2016. Under the "final rule," exempt employees must receive a salary of at least $47,476 - that is a little more than double the current minimum salary of $23,660, but it is slightly less than what we expected based on the proposed rule that was published last year. Another bit of good news for employers is that the minimum salary will not be increased every year. Instead, it will be subjected to possible increases every three years - starting in 2020.

Here are the "key provisions" of the final rule, as described by the U.S. Department of Labor:

"The Final Rule focuses primarily on updating the salary and compensation levels needed for Executive, Administrative and Professional workers to be exempt. Specifically, the Final Rule:

1. Sets the standard salary level at the 40th percentile of earnings of full-time salaried workers in the lowest-wage Census Region, currently the South ($913 per week; $47,476 annually for a full-year worker);

2. Sets the total annual compensation requirement for highly compensated employees (HCE) subject to a minimal duties test to the annual equivalent of the 90th percentile of full-time salaried workers nationally ($134,004); and

3. Establishes a mechanism for automatically updating the salary and compensation levels every three years to maintain the levels at the above percentiles and to ensure that they continue to provide useful and effective tests for exemption."

"Additionally, the Final Rule amends the salary basis test to allow employers to use nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments (including commissions) to satisfy up to 10 percent of the new standard salary level."

"The effective date of the final rule is December 1, 2016. The initial increases to the standard salary level (from $455 to $913 per week) and HCE total annual compensation requirement (from $100,000 to $134,004 per year) will be effective on that date. Future automatic updates to those thresholds will occur every three years, beginning on January 1, 2020."

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