Florida Businesses May Not See Any Benefit to New Overtime Rule


A new Department of Labor law has been passed that will double the eligible salary threshold for earning overtime (OT) from $23,660 in a year to $47,476. Employers must make changes to their employee’s status and paychecks by December 1, 2016. While this is being heralded as a major win for the average American worker by some, others are hesitant to celebrate, especially business owners in Florida.

Out of the estimated 4.2 million employees expected to benefit from this boon of overtime hours. However, the rule will effect employees who are subject to exemptions as executive, administrative, and professional employees. For example, a store manager making less than $47,476 a year, and working more than 40 hours, will need to start clocking in and out to track how much OT they get in a workweek. Understandably, this could put a lot of strain on businesses big and small, but especially small.

In order to meet the new OT standard and keep their doors open, businesses may have to start looking for new and creative ways to run their shops. Most notably, employers are expected to reorganize and change employee job functions, or institute a time-clock approach that absolutely does not allow anyone to work more than 40 hours. Pursuing either option will require careful stepping, however, as employment laws could be violated without proper planning, opening the door for even more trouble for small businesses.

Of course, there is another solution that is the exact opposite of reduction; increasing employee salaries. Companies who have numerous employees just around the new threshold may find it easier to boost them over it, to $48,000 or more. Not only would this remove their worry about tracking hours and overtime, it would certainly increase employee morale. However, the new law requires the threshold to be reviewed and revised once every three years to adjust for inflation, so a boost would only be a temporary solution by definition.

Whether you are an employee or an employer in Florida, this new overtime law is sure to affect you in one way or another. Make certain you know all you need to about it before December 1st, and make certain you or your employer is in total compliance with the changes. If you have any questions as business owner, or feel that your rights as a worker are being overstepped, you can contact The Law Office of Shands M. Wulbern, P.A. and our Jacksonville employment lawyer will be happy to help you.

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