New Overtime Rules May Change White Collar Workers’ Days

Date: October 07, 2015

Managers, Analysts May Have To Keep Track Of Hours As Eligibility For Overtime Expands


Earlier this year, the Labor Department announced a proposed adjustment to the current threshold for eligibility of overtime pay. The proposed change would enable full-time employees making as much as $50,440 per year to receive overtime pay, up from the current threshold of $23,660. As the Wall Street Journal reported, this could mean about five million additional US workers will be eligible for overtime pay, possibly beginning Jan. 1, 2016. However, many of those now eligible are likely to include so-called “white collar” workers such as supervisors, managers, and data analysts. Some managers are concerned that having currently-salaried employees begin clocking in and out may change the dynamics of the workplace. As Society for Human Resources Management government affairs counsel Nancy Hammer explained, “For a lot of people, the difference between hourly or salaried is the difference between a job and a career.” A survey of 413 members of SHRM found 67% said employees will see decreases in their flexibility and autonomy under the new rules, and 70% said their companies would likely offer less opportunities for workers to work overtime than previously, due to cost issues. Employers including Dollar Tree have argued the rule would mean a loss of flexibility in hours for employees, as well as status. Meanwhile, some employees say they would be unhappy if they have to start tracking their hours. Michigan Health & Hospital Association data analyst Jeff Berman said, “It just doesn’t feel as professional [if] I have to punch a clock.”

What Happens Next

It’s unclear when the final rule might be completed, the Journal reported, and a spokesperson for the Labor Department “declined to comment on when” it would be finalized or implemented. For now, current overtime regulations remain in effect.

What This Means For Small Businesses

Increasing overtime pay for workers is a burden small business owners across the US will struggle to afford. Small businesses work best when owners and managers can coordinate hours with their own employees and have the freedom and flexibility to set those hours independent over burdensome government regulations.

Additional Reading

NFIB previously noted some of the potential cost burdens of the proposed overtime rule.

Note: this article is intended to keep small business owners up on the latest news. It does not necessarily represent the policy stances of NFIB.

Related Content: Small Business News | Labor

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