Overtime Rules Have Little Impact

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New overtime rules from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), effective August 23, don't worry builders and industry experts, who nonetheless stress the need for compliance.

September 01, 2004

New overtime rules from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), effective August 23, don't worry builders and industry experts, who nonetheless stress the need for compliance.

The rules include new "duties tests," or job descriptions, that determine whether white-collar employees - executive, administrative, professional, outside sales and computer employees - can be exempted from overtime pay. The minimum salary for exempting them has been raised from $155 a week, or $8,060 annually; to $445 a week, or $23,660 annually.

The law also exempts a new class of "highly compensated" employees earning $100,000 or more if they regularly perform white-collar duties. The latter are generally defined as having a say in staffing or other management issues.

At the low end, administrative positions are usually held to 40-hour workweeks. On the job site, field superintendents are generally exempt by a salary level above the threshold and by definition of their roles in hiring, firing and other management decisions. Builders report some concern by subcontractors, but data are not available for any estimate of impact on indirect labor costs.

For details, go to the DOL's FairPay Web site.

Additionally, David Crump, director of NAHB's Legal Research Program, will field inquiries from the organization's members at dcrump@nahb.org.

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