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Cartoon hand punching in at time clock

3 Things Meeting Professionals Should Know About the New Overtime Law

Last week, the President and the Secretary of the Department of Labor ushered in a new rule that almost doubles the salary threshold for overtime pay from $23,360 to $47,476 per year. With “event coordinator” clocking in at a median of $46,490, according to Forbes, this means event professionals could very well find themselves among the 4 million or more who are trying to figure out what this could mean for them.

 

I asked a friend who is a long-time human resources professional to break down for me what the possible scenarios could be for people in the hot zone between the old threshold of hourly workers who had been eligible for time and a half overtime pay and those who made over that amount and had been considered exempt employees until now. Of course, nothing is cut-and-dried, but here are a few key points to think about:

1. If you make between $23,660 and $47,476 and weren’t eligible for overtime before, as of Dec. 1, 2016, you may qualify for nonexempt status and the right to get paid time-and-a-half for any hours worked over the 40-per-week limit. (In most cases; there are exemptions for certain classifications of workers, such as those who supervise two or more people. Full details are available on DOL.gov.) Your employer could choose to shift you to being an hourly employee to make it easier to track your hours, or keep you on salary while still finding a way to keep tabs on your work time.

2. How it could affect your paycheck:

  • You could become nonexempt and start getting paid for all that OT you put in on site and off, which is the whole point of the new law.
  • If you currently make close to the new threshold amount, your employer could choose to up your salary to keep you exempt rather than start paying OT.
  • Your employer could choose to outsource some of the things you currently do to keep your hours at 40/week, or offload some of your tasks to part-timers.
  • Your employer could reduce your pay to absorb the OT costs so the net effect would be nil. While that would be perfectly legal, it would be pretty nasty—you’d actually be getting a pay cut if you didn’t work insane hours some weeks.
  • If you do become nonexempt, it could potentially have a negative effect on your health benefits, vacation, bonuses, and profit-sharing plans if your organization is less generous with those for nonexempt than exempt workers.

3. You may end up hiring more temp staff to man the registration booth, etc., on site rather than send now-nonexempt employees that could rack up OT on site.

What other possible effects do you see it having on your job?

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