General Question

chelle21689's avatar

Why would I be going from salaried to hourly by the new law?

Asked by chelle21689 (7405points) May 18th, 2016 from iPhone

I make under $48,000. I was told by my boss I might be going hourly (this was before the law passed). I barely work any over time (35–37.5 hrs/week) and have 20 days PTO and sick time. If I were to be hourly it would go down to 10 days PTO. She said I would be grandfathered in to keep my benefits.

So why would I become hourly if I don’t have over time? I work at a university and we many staff that are three quarter time (salaried and working 10 months but paid cover 12) and they would become hourly apparently too.

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19 Answers

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

What new law?

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

If your pay goes down, your employer is a weasel, cheating you and blaming Obama.

Nothing has to change for you.

The new rules mean IF YOU WORK OVER 40 HOURS and you make less than $47,476, you receive overtime pay.

DoNotKnowMuch's avatar

What @Call_Me_Jay said.

Also, to be clear, this simply raises the white-collar worker overtime salary threshold from $23,660 to $47,476. This means that if you make $45k and have been working more than 40 hours, your employer has a few options (from my understanding):

- They can limit your hours to 40 hours, and hire others to do the extra work.
– They can convert your job from salary to hourly, which means they would still need to pay you overtime for hours > 40.
– They can can raise your salary from $45k to 48k and avoid the new threshold. Then, they can demand you work over 40 hours without overtime pay.
– They can actually comply with the law and pay overtime.

Note: You state that you do not work over 40 hours/wk. So, as Jay states, your employer’s reaction is likely just an emotional rejection of the rule. This law is good for workers, but employers generally don’t like paying their workers fairly, so they will spin this into a loss for the country’s workers and job market.

Also, this isn’t to go into effect until 12/½016.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

@DoNotKnowMuch Thank you for the details, very helpful, much better than my response.

Love_my_doggie's avatar

Studies indicate that the hours between 40–50 are very productive. Anything over 50, workers get fatigued, lose focus, and become dramatically less effective overall. But, those extra, freebie 10 hours are a boon to employers.

Because so many U.S. companies regard employees with disdain – fungible commodities and easily replaced – and believe that work-life balance is something to disregard, they squeeze those 10 hours from people. One way is to deny breaks; for example, someone works a 9-hour day, with 30 minutes for lunch plus two 15-minute breaks, but he/she is strongly discouraged from taking that time. Another way is to set a standard workday yet require workers to arrive early/stay late.

I’m all for a plan to reduce this sort of unfairness. Sadly, workforce reform is difficult to enforce, and people who need their jobs won’t risk reporting a noncompliant employer.

chelle21689's avatar

I still don’t get the reasoning for me took hourly if I don’t even work more than 39 hours. I’m a bit confused.

JLeslie's avatar

Why does it change from 20 hours PTO to 10 hours? You’ll still be working the same amount right?

chelle21689's avatar

I’m classified as administrator. Administrators get 20 days PTO. Support staff (hourly) get 10 days PTO and 5 sick days. Not sure why such a big gap.

But they said if I became hourly I would get grandfathered in. The law doesn’t seem to require me to be hourly so I am confused why I would need to.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar


The law would not require you to be hourly. It means you have to be paid overtime after 40 hours if you make less than $47,476.

Working 35–37.5 hrs/week at your current pay is no different under the new rules.

chelle21689's avatar

That still doesn’t answer my question why I am going to be hourly? I read that one option a company has or what they expect to happen is convert salaried employees to hourly. I don’t understand how that helps?

JLeslie's avatar

Maybe because if they convert you to hourly the system will automatically give you OT over 40 hours, and if you are programmed in as salaried that won’t automatically happen.

Irukandji's avatar

@chelle21689 It’s not supposed to help. Or at least, it’s not supposed to help you. Management is going to try cutting its perceived losses by screwing people over to the full extent of the law. And then they’re going to blame it on Obama in the hopes that their employees will fall for it.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

@chelle21689 The rules were announced today.

I think anything said today is speculation. People are trying to understand how it affects their particular company.

Cruiser's avatar

@chelle21689 Your employer did say “maybe” and might still be trying to wrap his/her head around this new ruling. As I see it the employee must earn more than $47,476 annually for a full-year worker to qualify as a salary eligible employee which can include up to 10% of that amount in commissions, incentives and bonuses to reach that test threshold to be considered a salaried employee. If you earn less than that threshold you are likely to be put on hourly and if you net a less amount per month because of this shift I would approach HR or your Super and voice a complaint about the pay gap.

I would ask to meet with your employer to discuss this change in greater detail.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

@JLeslie Maybe because if they convert you to hourly the system will automatically give you OT over 40 hours,

Thank you. We have been posing it as a negative, it might be a simple change to make it easier for everyone.

“She said I would be grandfathered in to keep my benefits” sound very positive.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Long time car dealership and restaurant employee here:

What is overtime?

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

@SecondHandStoke If you make less than $47,476 you may find out soon. If you make more, you won’t.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

^ Thanks.

My point is that I’ve worked many places that simply don’t allow it.

I know. If it is important enough to me for me to have it I can change jobs.

CWOTUS's avatar

This might be a good place to start learning about some of the ins and outs of this issue.

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