Anticipated Changes to “White Collar” Exemptions

Barkan Meizlish , May 19, 2015

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers must pay employees overtime at a rate of one and one half times their regular hourly rate for work that exceeds 40 hours in a workweek. The FLSA provides a number of various exemptions from the overtime requirement. Under the “white collar” exemptions, certain executive, administrative, and professional employees are exempt from receiving overtime. To qualify, these employees must be paid on a “salary basis” of at least $455 a week (or $23,600 per year).

President Obama has recently announced the need to modernize and simplify the white collar exemptions, which have not been revised since 2004. Although the anticipated changes are not certain, the general speculation is that the current salary basis of $23,600 will increase to an amount as high as $50,000 per year. This would allow more workers to be entitled to the FLSA’s overtime provisions, which will ultimately lead to an increase in FLSA lawsuits.

Source: Thomas N. Shorter Tom O’Day, Proper Classification Under the Fair Labor Standards Act: Time To Prepare for More Wage & Hour Litigation In Health Care, THE NATIONAL LAW REVIEW, Oct. 30, 2014,

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