Monday, August 30, 2004

New overtime rules

This post on the ACES message board helps break down some of the ramifications of the new overtime rules. It's definitely worth a read. Here's a snippet:
If you're nonexempt, you are owed overtime pay if you work more than 40 hours a week. There is no such thing as "comp time," for private sector employees unless their work is controlled by contract. Although employees may refer to the time taken when they leave early on Friday afternoon off because of late work on Tuesday, that is not comp time -- it is simply an effort to keep your time under 40 hours. While it is a popular with employees to let them bank "comp time" and use it when they wish, Congress has never passed legislation to make that possibility legal. Major labor unions oppose it and say it would be abused.
The most-talked-about aspect of the law in our neighborhood is that some "creative professionals" are exempt from the overtime protection, meaning they don't earn it. So who qualifies as a creative professional?

The Department of Labor tries to answer some of the questions pertinent to journalists here. It says, in bold, that "the final regulations do not change the duties test for the creative professional exemption." To me, that says that if you're nonexempt now, you'll stay nonexempt. If you can earn overtime now, the law has done nothing to change that.

And, of course, your employer can always choose to give you overtime pay, even if you could be opted out. The government's not forcing anyone to stop that compensation. It's only setting guidelines for the people who must be paid.


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