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Overtime regulation delayed

Many New York workers are still waiting for changes to overtime exemptions from the Fair Labor Standards Act. The Department of Labor has announced proposed regulatory changes in the past, but an announcement in October 2018 pushed them back once more to March 2019. According to an announcement from the agency, the proposed regulation will include an updated salary level to be classified as an exempt worker. Public input will be sought on the proposed salary level and other issues related to overtime.

The FLSA includes a salary threshold that workers must meet in order for their employers to classify them as exempt from the law's regulations, especially those requiring paid overtime. That amount continues to sit at $23,660, even though the Obama administration attempted to raise it to $47,476. The regulation was blocked in court before the change in administrations, and the Trump administration is expected to recommend an amount ranging from $32,000 to $35,000.

In addition, the Labor Department is expected to propose regulations related to joint employment in December that will address some of the confusion around this issue. Many workers have some sort of multi-tiered employment involving franchises, staffing agencies and larger corporations. There is little clarity about which party is responsible for violations of employment law, including wage and hour violations or even sexual harassment and discrimination, when multiple employers are involved. Different standards may also be applied under the FLSA or the National Labor Relations Act.

Wage and hour violations are among the most common forms of employment abuse that workers face on the job. Employees may be wrongly classified as exempt so that they can be exempt overtime pay, or they may see their commissions or bonuses slip away due to arbitrary clauses. An employment lawyer can help workers dealing with wage theft to protect their rights and seek the pay they deserve.

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