The US Department of Labor issued a final ruling on Wednesday that set the minimum salary level for exempt employees at $684 per week ($35,568 per year) regardless of actual duties.
Under the Federal Labor Standards Act, “white collars,” such as executive, administrative, professional, outside sales and computer employees, are exempted from the minimum wage and overtime pay requirements. Normally, covered employers are required to pay employees a minimum wage and overtime premium for employees who work more than 40 hours in a week.
This new rule meant to effectively distinguish between the white collar employees whom Congress intended to be protected by the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime provisions and bona fide executive, administrative and professional employees whom Congress intended to exempt from those statutory requirements.
The Department estimates that in 2020, 1.2 million currently exempt employees and an additional 2.2 million white collar workers who are currently nonexempt will gain or strengthen their overtime eligibility.