Some white collar employees in Pennsylvania may be celebrating the fact that an important Department of Labor overtime change is ready to go into effect. Salaried workers earning at least $23,660 per year were previously considered exempt from being entitled to overtime pay for working in excess of 40 hours in a week of work. However, that threshold will be approximately twice as much as the change takes effect December 1, 2016.
The restaurant industry is one example of an area that faces several possible options for implementing the changes. Employees paid at an hourly rate are typically entitled to overtime pay as they exceed 40 hours of work in a week. In many cases, restaurant employees work under these terms and are not affected by this employee rights issue. However, there could be a financial benefit for employers seeking to optimize their costs, especially for any hourly employees earning in excess of the threshold for salaried workers. Changing the status of an employee in this situation could allow for flexibility from week to week as long as the rate per hour always computes to at least minimum wage.
Salaried employees with earnings that are close to the new threshold might receive raises to make up the difference as this would remove any obligations to pay overtime benefits to those individuals. Some employers might prefer to simplify the matter by transitioning strictly to hourly wages. It is important for these changes to be addressed promptly to ensure that employees will be aware of coming adjustments. Failure to communicate could result in serious misunderstandings and could also impact employee attitudes.
Although good communication can minimize misunderstandings on the job, there may be instances in which paycheck discrepancies are not clearly understood in spite of asking company management to explain. An employment lawyer could be helpful for reviewing pay-related problems that cannot be resolved through company avenues.