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Legal Tips on Complying With New Federal Labor Laws

A newly published advisory on keeping your station adhered to federal labor laws

Broadcast attorneys are making note of implications that new U.S. Department of Labor overtime pay rules will have on radio and television employers.

While these new regulations affect all types of employers, for broadcasters specifically, the rules come with some tricky challenges regarding what type of positions can or can’t be exempt. Attorneys at Pillsbury, Winthrop, Shaw, and Pittman LLP have published an advisory detailing important information station managers should know when adjusting their employees’ pay brackets.

The rules, enforced under the Fair Labor Standards Act, go into effect Dec. 1. The minimum salary level allowed to be exempt from the act’s overtime rules will be doubled. Currently, the FLSA requires employers to pay non-exempt employees an overtime rate of 1.5 times their regular pay rate for hours worked over 40 hours per week. For an employee to be exempt from this they must be paid an annual salary of at least $23,660 and their position’s job duties must qualify under the FLSA’s exempt status rubric. Come Dec. 1, an employee must be making $47,476 in order to be exempt.

In their advisory, the Pillsbury attorneys outline specific job duties that can be exempt from the FLSA’s overtime rules, provided the employee is paid at least the required minimum salary, as well as some tips on how to keep your station safe from litigation when reclassifying an employee’s exemption status. Also noted is the new overtime pay rules will continue to stay completely exempt for small-market radio and television station employees.

Read the advisory.