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Labor & Employment Attorney Keith Wilkes talks to KOTV 6  - Federal Trade Commission issued new rules that will affect many workers in Oklahoma

April 2024


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Labor & Employment Attorney Keith Wilkes talks to  KOTV 6  - Federal Trade Commission issued new rules that will affect many workers in Oklahoma. One of the rules has to do with salaried employees who work overtime.

"The terms you hear are if someone is exempt from overtime or non-exempt. If you're nonexempt, you're an hourly employee and if you work more than 40 hours in a work week, you're entitled to time and a half," said labor and employment attorney Keith Wilkes. 

Wilkes is an attorney at Hall Estill Law Firm. He's looked into the new FTC rule and said that with it, there will be a major change in who's eligible for overtime. 

"For anyone who is making at or near the minimum salary to be exempt from overtime, they're getting a nearly 65 percent raise by January 1," he said. 

The current salary an employee has to make to be considered exempt from overtime is about $35,000. With the new rule from the FTC, the minimum will increase on July 1 to just over $43,000, and then again on January 1, 2025, to nearly $60,000. 

Some think the increase was long overdue.

"The idea was that if you are working for this company, they don't have to track your hours, but in compensation, they are giving you an adequate salary that you don't have to work somewhere else that they are your sole employer for the most part," said Jason Walter. 

Walter is an associate professor of economics at the University of Tulsa. He said increasing the minimum salary for overtime exemption helps employees earn a more livable wage,

"In that $30,000 range, that's not really the intention of what it was originally, and moving it back to $50,000 is probably more on par with what we would consider a professional salary."

The FTC said the final rule will become effective 120 days after the publication in the federal register.

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Founded in 1966 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Hall Estill is a full-service law firm with clients ranging from Fortune 500 corporations to traditional family businesses, as well as nonprofit organizations, entrepreneurial start-ups and individuals. More than 150 legal professionals work in the firm at offices in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Denver and Northwest Arkansas, assisting a diversified base of local, regional, national and international clients.

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