New Department of Labor rule could mean more money in your paycheck

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Come December, your paycheck might look a little different, and we’re not just talking about a year-end bonus.

On December 1st, new overtime rules could mean more money in your paycheck.

The Labor Department estimates the rule change could result in an additional $12 billion in pay for workers over the next decade.

It’s a change President Obama has been working on for two years. It’s been criticized as too drastic by many employers, but will impact millions across the country

Business Attorney Joe Saeli says anybody making a salary of less than $47,476 will automatically qualify for overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours a week.

Saeli said, “We’ve been talking about this for about a year, people complaining how they’re going to deal with it, so it’s a pretty big deal, I’d say.”

That’s double the number currently in place. Saeli calls this a challenge for employers. Saeli said, “What most companies are looking at doing, is either increasing the pay level to meet the new test or changing the status to hourly and non exempt.”

The change is intended to expand access to overtime pay for otherwise low-salaried workers who log long hours. But Saeli says the switch from a salary to an hourly employee is sometimes seen as a status change, even if the employee ends up making more money through overtime.

Saeli said, “They see it almost as a personal affront when all of a sudden they’re told they’re going to be hourly and punching a time clock, I think they feel like they’re status is somehow being diminished.”

Saeli says this is expected to affect the retail and restaurant industries the most. For employers, Saeli says get your employees status figured out-fast. He said, “You better do something about it fast, you have less then two weeks to change or practice these new rules!”

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