New Overtime Ruling Could Affect Salaried Library Workers
On May 18, 2016, President Obama announced the publication of the Final Rule updating overtime regulations, which will become effective on December 1, 2016. This rule increases the standard salary threshold under which most white collar workers are entitled to overtime to $913 per week, compared to the existing level of $455 per week. This means that until November 30, 2016, overtime compensation is only required to be paid to full-time, exempted white collar employees who make less than $23,660; however, beginning on December 1, overtime compensation must be paid to such employees who make up to $47,476. This change could very well affect salaried library workers.
For local governments, the impact of the Final Rule is limited by other rules and exemptions. For example, hourly workers and workers with regular work weeks of 40 or fewer hours will not be affected. Salaried workers who do not primarily perform executive, administrative, or professional duties are also ineligible. In addition, government employers who have compensatory time arrangements (comp time) with their public employees can continue to satisfy their overtime obligations by providing comp time instead of overtime.
Local governments have a number of options for complying with the Final Rule. For white collar workers whose salaries are close to the threshold, the employer may wish to increase the worker’s salary so that the worker can maintain their exempt status. Local government employers may choose to convert salaried employees to hourly pay. If an employee has a fairly consistent schedule and only sees occasional spikes of overtime, the government employer may simply keep the employee at their current salary and pay the overtime as the Final Rule dictates. Other options employers may consider are reorganizing workloads to reduce overtime and utilizing comp time arrangements with employees.
If you or your library workers are eligible for protection under the Overtime Final Rule, you should be prepared to discuss your local government employer’s compliance plan. You can find more information on the U.S. Department of Labor website. Click here to view a summary of the Final Rule and state and local governments. If library directors or staff have questions, they should be addressed to the county or municipality that handles payroll for your library. The DPI’s Public Library Development Team is not authorized to provide legal advice or interpretation on labor law.