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Understanding the Updated FLSA Salary Threshold and Its Impact on Workers and Employers

Employees standing around a conference table
Employees standing around a conference table

Major Changes to the FLSA’s Salary-Level Threshold

The U.S. Department of Labor has announced significant changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act‘s (FLSA) salary-level threshold for white-collar exemptions from overtime pay. Previously set at $35,568, the threshold will increase to $43,888 starting July 1, 2024, and will further rise to $58,656 on January 1, 2025. This adjustment means that employees earning less than these amounts may now be eligible for overtime pay if they work over 40 hours in a week.

Impact on Workers

For employees, especially those earning near or below the new thresholds, this change could lead to increased earnings through overtime. Workers who previously did not qualify for overtime because of their salary level might find themselves eligible, providing a significant boost to their potential income. This shift is particularly important for hourly and lower-wage workers who often work long hours but previously were not compensated for overtime due to their exempt status.

Implications for Employers

Companies employing workers near the new threshold face important decisions. They must choose whether to increase the salaries of these employees to maintain their exempt status or to reclassify them as nonexempt and pay overtime when they work more than 40 hours a week. The financial implications are substantial, as failing to properly compensate overtime can lead to legal consequences and fines. Employers will also need to consider the administrative burden of tracking hours more meticulously for a greater number of employees who are now eligible for overtime. This could require additional HR resources or systems to ensure compliance with the new regulations.

Preparing for the Change

1. Review Employee Classifications: Employers should start by reviewing the current salaries and
classifications of their employees. Identifying which employees are affected by the new threshold is critical to planning the next steps.
2. Consider Salary Adjustments: For employees who are close to the new threshold, it may be
financially sensible to raise their salaries above the threshold to maintain their exempt status. This decision will depend on the cost comparison between paying a higher salary versus managing overtime payments.
3. Plan for Overtime Management: For those employees who will remain under the threshold and
thus become eligible for overtime, employers need to strategize how to manage this to avoid unexpected overtime costs. This could include adjusting work schedules or redistributing workloads.
4. Update Payroll Systems: Ensuring that payroll systems are updated to handle changes in employee classifications and to accurately process overtime payments is crucial. This might
involve software updates or system enhancements.
5. Communicate Changes Effectively: Clear communication with employees about changes in
their employment classification and potential changes to their compensation is essential.
Transparency helps in managing expectations and maintaining employee morale during transitions.


The increase in the FLSA salary threshold is a significant change that will affect a large number of employees and employers across the U.S. By understanding the implications of these changes and preparing accordingly, companies can ensure compliance, manage labor costs effectively, and maintain a satisfied workforce. This proactive approach will be crucial in adapting to the new regulations and maintaining operational efficiency.