Last-minute ruling means many techs won’t be overtime-eligible after all

A judge in Texas has issued a ruling that could delay or eliminate entirely a controversial change that would’ve made many IT workers eligible for overtime. 

A rule issued in May by the Dept. of Labor (DOL) would’ve raised the minimum salary threshold for employees who were exempt from overtime. These are the employees who get paid a salary regardless of the hours worked, such as those who qualified for the computer professionals exemption.

The current minimum salary to qualify for the exemption, $23,600, was set to nearly double to $47,476 as of December 1. That was designed to adjust for inflation as the minimum salary threshold had remained the same for decades.

It also would’ve meant overtime-exempt professionals who made between $23,601 and $47,475 would be able to collect time-and-a-half for hours worked over 40 in a week.

Ruling ends it … for now

But a federal judge in Texas has issued a temporary injunction against the change. That means the DOL can’t go through with the raised threshold.

The Obama Administration could appeal the injunction, but these things take time … and by then, the Trump Administration could be in charge and may not have an interest in the regulation going forward.

Chances are you or your HR department had been preparing for the changes, and workers may have been made aware of them. But for the time being, nothing has changed. And it may not be revisited.

Salaries are high, but not universally

With the average IT pro’s salary in $80,000 range, it may not seem like this is such a big issue. However, depending on the size and location of a business, plenty of IT pros would’ve been affected by the rule.

Although the salary threshold didn’t change this time, it’s possible it will at some point. The current level hasn’t been adjusted for inflation in decades, so some feel it’s time for a re-evaluation.

Best bet for now: Look carefully at the number of hours your employees are typically putting in, even if they’re salaried. Having that information could help you make a decision on how to proceed if the issue gets revisited.

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