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As of January 1, 2020, the United States Department of Labor has enacted new rules for overtime requirements. It is important to understand current overtime requirements to ensure that you are receiving all pay to which you are entitled. Call (619) 234-2833 today to schedule your free consultation with a California employment law attorney at the Mara Law Firm.

The new, stricter requirements for overtime exemptions

The Department of Labor approved a new rule for overtime exemptions in 2019. This rule became effective on January 1, 2020, and it raised the threshold for exemption salary amounts. The current threshold was set in 2004, so there was a significant amount of support for the raised exemptions, which had long been outpaced by salary and wage increases. The DOL reports that nearly every person who took advantage of the required public comment period agreed that the exemptions needed to be raised for this reason. The exemptions have been changed as follows:

  • The “standard salary level”  is raised from the currently enforced level of $455 to $684 per week. (This is equivalent to $35,568 per year for a full-time employee working one full year.)
  • The total annual compensation level for “highly compensated employees (HCE)” is raised from $100,000 to $107,432 per year.
  • Employers are now allowed to use nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments (including commissions) that are paid at least annually to satisfy up to 10 percent of the standard salary level.
  • Special salary levels for workers in U.S. territories and in the motion picture industry have been revised.

Employees who do not qualify for an exemption at the new salary rates are legally entitled to overtime pay.

How do I know if I am owed overtime pay?

If you believe you might be entitled to overtime pay, it is important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible. It is possible to win back pay for overtime that should have been paid on previous hours worked. This can, however, become more difficult to prove as time passes. Records might be destroyed, and memory becomes less accurate. This is why it is important to consult with an employment law attorney sooner rather than later.


It is also important to consult with an attorney about other circumstances that might change your eligibility for overtime pay. There are many different factors that can change your wage and hour entitlements. Only a licensed – and experienced – employment law attorney can advise you accurately about the outcome of your particular case.

Experienced California employment attorneys for wage and hour issues

Employees can go years without knowing about the overtime pay they are owed. Don’t let this happen to you – consult with an employment attorney about your right to overtime pay. The experienced wage and hour lawyers at the Mara Law Firm have helped many California workers get back pay for overtime they are owed. Call (619) 234-2833 today to schedule your free consultation with a California employment law attorney.

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