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Overtime rules are changing. What does this mean?

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Labor announced new rules about who will be eligible to be paid overtime. The Labor Department estimates that 392,000 Californians will benefit from the new regulations.

If you're part of this group, you may be wondering what the change means for you. Here's what you need to know.

Who is affected by the new rule?

Under the new rule, salaried employees who earn $47,476 per year or less will be eligible for overtime pay. Previously, the cutoff was $23,660 per year.

Salaried workers who earn between $47,476 and $134,004 per year may also be eligible for overtime if the majority of their duties are not "executive, administrative and professional."

The rule takes effect on December 1. Because of the change, some workers will see significant increases in their take-home pay. Others may benefit from a reduction in involuntary overtime hours and will have more time to spend on personal pursuits.

How does overtime work in California?

California has more expansive overtime rules than most of the country. In California, eligible workers are entitled to overtime pay if they work more than 40 hours in a workweek or more than eight hours in a day. Eligible workers are also entitled to overtime for the seventh consecutive day worked in any workweek.

Overtime is paid at one-and-a-half times the worker's regular rate of pay.

Do employers always follow overtime rules?

Sadly, the answer to this question is "no." Some employers wrongfully classify workers as "exempt" to avoid having to pay overtime. Others simply refuse to pay the overtime that is rightly owed.

If you have questions about your eligibility for overtime, or you think you might be being mistreated at work, it's always a good idea to discuss the issue with a trusted attorney.

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