Tag Archives: Labor and Employment

EMPLOYMENT LAW UPDATE – Significant Changes to Overtime Regulations!


For loyal followers of these updates, this Department of Labor “update” may seem like déjà vu.  Indeed, three years ago I sent out an update notifying you that the Department of Labor (DOL) had released final changes to the overtime regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and that the changes were scheduled to go into effect on December 1, 2016.  Well, as it turned out, the new regulations never did go into effect, but the DOL recently decided to revisit the issue.

So what’s new?

In a nutshell, the proposed rule (which is expected to go into effect in January 2020) would require that all employees earning less than $35,308 per year (or $679/week) – regardless of their job duties – be paid overtime for working 40 hours in a work week.  Overtime is typically equal to one and one-half times the employee’s regular rate of pay.  This means that employees who are now exempt from receiving overtime will no longer remain exempt if they earn less than $35,308 per year.

Without sounding like the boy who cried wolf, now is the time for covered employers to start preparing.

What does this mean?

For exempt employees earning at least $679/week, nothing will change.  However, employees who are now classified as exempt but who are earning less than $679/week will lose their exempt status if and when the new rule goes into effect.

Becoming non-exempt means that these employees will be eligible for overtime pay when working over 40 hours in a work week, and it also means that these employees will be required to record their hours worked.  For exempt employees who never “punched a clock,” this may be demoralizing, although some may welcome the opportunity to earn overtime.

What should you do?


  • Determine which employees will be impacted by these new rules if anyone.
  • Assess the cost of reclassifying these employees as non-exempt or increasing their salaries in accordance with the new guidelines to keep these employees exempt.
  • For employees who will be reclassified as non-exempt, no additional costs will result:
    • if the newly non-exempt employees do not work overtime.  Remember that even if you have a policy that requires all overtime hours be approved in advance, non-exempt employees who work over 40 hours a week must be paid at the time and one-half rate.
    • if the hourly rate paid to the newly non-exempt employees is reduced to take into account the need for these employees to work some overtime hours each week.
  • Remember to train all newly-exempt employees on your time-keeping procedures.

Employers impacted by these new rules may need to consider covering increased overtime costs by reducing benefits, but this will certainly result in a drop in employee morale.


  • Notify impacted employees that changes are the result of new rules imposed by the DOL rather than a company decision
  • Assure reclassified employees that the changes do reflect the employer’s opinion of their work or the employees’ value to the company

As always, you should contact legal counsel for any specific questions you may have about the applicability of the FLSA to your business, these new rules and how to best implement same.


Ellen M. Leibovitch

Board Certified Labor & Employment Lawyer


1801 N. Military Trail, Suite 160

Boca Raton, Florida 33431

Main: 561-361-6566
Direct: 561-948-2479

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Labor & Employment SuperLawyer Ellen Leibovitch Finalist in Leaders In Law Award

Pic - Ellen Finalist Leaders In Law (00107849)

Assouline & Berlowe is pleased to announce that Labor & Employment Partner Ellen Leibovitch has been selected by Lifestyle Media Group’s Leaders In Law Awards as a Finalist for the award.  The firm is pleased to congratulate Ellen Leibovitch on this notable accomplishment further recognizing her as one of South Florida’s top attorneys.

Lifestyle Media Group honors lawyers, law firms and corporate general counsel who have achieved excellence in law.

The Firm will be in attendance at Nova Southeastern University, on January 21, 2014, when all the Honorees selected will be recognized at the ceremony.

Ellen Leibovitch and I have been friends since we first practiced together in the late 1990s at a prior firm.  We at the firm we very pleased to have her join us in early 2012 to head the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice Group.  Having Ellen Leibovitch, a Board Certified SuperLawyer, as the head of the labor and employment department has been instrumental in the firm being able to offer the highest level of quality labor & employment related counsel to our clients.

Ellen Leibovitch practice is concentrated on labor and employment law counseling and litigation, as well as commercial and business litigation.

Ms. Leibovitch counsels and assists clients on the full-range of labor and employment matters.  As part of her practice, Ellen Leibovitch drafts, analyzes, and critically evaluates employee handbooks.  Ms. Leibovitch prepares employment agreements, as well as non-compete, confidentiality, severance, separation, independent contractor and other employment-related agreements.

The factors considered for the award are:

1. Supporting material, covering statements and evidence supplied
2. Amount of documented activity when compared to industry peers
3. Involvement in significant legal cases and legal activity
4. Recognized legal expertise (by peer group)
5. Innovation in client care
6. Size (value) of involvement within transactions, deals and cases
7. Previous accolades and entries within recognized legal guides


DATE:                        Tuesday, January 21, 2014.

PLACE:                      Nova Southeastern University

TIME:                          Reception – 5:30pm at Huizenga Business School Atrium

Awards Ceremony – 7:00pm at the Miniaci Theater

Pic - Ellen Finalist Leaders In Law (00107849) 

Please join us at this exciting ceremony. 



Email: ena@assoulineberlowe.com


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Thank you Ellen Leibovitch for all your hard work!

To reach Ellen Leibovitch, by email: eml@assoulineberlowe.com or by telephone: 561-361-6566.


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