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The Department of Labor issued a new overtime rule

Typically, you go to work, clock in and earn your paycheck. But what happens if your employer needs to keep you late? In those situations, you are entitled to overtime. Generally, overtime kicks in if you work more than 40 hours a week. For each hour worked over that threshold you get overtime, or time-and-a-half pay.

Unfortunately, not everyone is entitled to overtime. Under the old exemption rules, any salaried employee who makes more than $455 per week is not entitled to overtime. This covers many "white-collar" positions that are salaried but low-pay such as assistants, secretaries and other positions. The new rule increased the income threshold to $913 per week, thereby expanding the number of people eligible for overtime by 4.2 million. Fifty-six percent of those who will benefit from this increase are women. And 61 percent of all employees seeing the increase are 35 years of age or older.

Employers will be able to avoid this rule by increasing base pay. However, the net effect is that several million more people will get more money in their pocket.

Tracking your overtime is not easy. It takes time and effort and many times it may seem pointless. But if you believe that your employer is unfairly denying you overtime, then this is one of the few ways to know for sure. You may want to consult with a lawyer to determine what you should do if your overtime was denied. A lawyer can go over the situation and help you develop a plan.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, "Who Benefits from the New Overtime Rule," Heidi Shierholz, May 18, 2016

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