John A. Klassen, PA Minnesota Employment Law Attorney
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New overtime rules may benefit Minnesota workers

After years of delay, the United States Department of Labor has revised federal overtime rules. These rules mean that 1.3 million salaried employees across the country, including in many in Minnesota, will either see a reduction in the number of hours they are expected to work, an increase in their base pay, or more overtime.

To give background, under federal law, the general rule is that an affected employer must pay overtime, set at 150% of an employee's hourly wage, for any time an employee is expected to work more than 40 hours a week or the equivalent. However, many professional, executive, managerial, and other administrative employees who customarily draw a flat salary do not get the benefit of these rules if they get paid a high enough annual wage.

With the onset of these rules, the minimum cutoff wage jumps from $23,000 to $35,568, meaning that a good number of employees who were exempt will now be entitled to overtime, unless, of course, their employers choose to raise their salaries above the new threshold.

Because Minnesota's own overtime rules are in many respects not as broad as those at the federal level, this new regulation will hopefully help many Minnesota workers. For instance, those who are in middle management in the food industry and the retail sector may see some positive changes.

On the other hand, there was a lot of disappointment that these rules did not go nearly as far as those proposed under the former presidential administration. Moreover, the current change will not automatically account for inflation in future increases, as proponents of the measure had hoped.

As the country prepares for these new rules to take effect, those in Minnesota who have questions about their employee rights should consider speaking with an experienced attorney. Those who have been wronged by violations of employment laws may be able to take legal action to protect their employee rights.

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