Most workers in Texas and around the country are entitled to overtime pay when they are on duty for more than 40 hours during a workweek. Overtime rules were established by the Fair Labor Standards Act and are administered by the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division. Not all workers are covered by the FLSA’s provisions, and employers have complained that the vague wording of the rules makes compliance difficult. The DOL took action to clarify overtime exemptions by releasing new guidelines in January.
The revised overtime rules require employers to pay a rate of at least one and a half times the standard rate to all employees who earn less than $684 per week. Highly compensated employees are not generally entitled to overtime pay, but the new rules extend FLSA provisions to workers with an annual salary of less than $107,432. These non-exempt workers are entitled to overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours during a workweek.
Workers classified as exempt under the revised rules include outside sales representatives and professional, executive or administrative workers. This is often referred to as the “white-collar exemption.” When determining who is and who is not an exempt highly compensated employee, employers can consider the worker’s salary as well as any nondiscretionary compensation they receive such as commissions and bonuses.
The wage and hour laws can be confusing, which means that workers are sometimes unsure whether they are entitled to overtime pay. Attorneys with experience in this area may help clear up any confusion by examining records such as time cards and pay stubs. When irregularities are discovered, attorneys may urge employers to compensate workers for unpaid valid overtime. Attorneys might also take legal action when employers are uncooperative or have repeatedly violated state and federal wage and hour laws.