New overtime rules to impact 3800 Clark County workers

first_imgA new rule revising which salaried employees are paid for clocking extra hours will go into effect soon, impacting about 3,800 Clark County employees and their bosses, according to the Washington Employment Security Department.The U.S. Department of Labor decided in May to change the so-called “white collar exemption,” an earnings threshold under which employers must pay an employee overtime wages. The ruling makes salaried employees who earn up to $47,476 eligible for overtime pay. Previously, employees who earned more than $23,600 were exempted.The ruling goes into effect Dec. 1. It will apply to an estimated 4.2 million workers nationwide and 76,000 workers in Washington state.Scott Bailey, a regional economist with the state agency, said he expects employers will make the change without making waves.“The new overtime rule by the Department of Labor, in my opinion, will not have a large impact on employment in Clark County,” Bailey wrote in an email Wednesday afternoon. “There may be some wage effects and some creative responses by employers, but I doubt it will result in changes that will be noticeable in our employment statistics.”In the meantime, the new rule may require some accounting gymnastics of affected employers. They will have to calculate whether a salaried employee making less than $47,476 is worth paying up to that threshold or if it’s worth paying them time-and-a-half when they log more than 40 hours per week. Some businesses might reshuffle responsibilities to other employees in order to shave hours.“They’re definitely going to want to do the math and look at it both ways: project how much overtime (an employee) would work and what that would cost, versus raising their salary to the new level,” said Rhonda Stephens, a partner at the local offices of Barrett Business Services Inc., a company that consults on human resources and payroll for numerous companies.last_img

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