Is there an enforceable minimum salary wage?

If so, how much is it and what actions need to be taken to receive it? I recently received a promotion from hourly

to salary exempt and was told they would not pay the $47,000 that I believe went into effect last year. Do I have a leg to stand on? What can I do about this?

Asked on June 5, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Minnesota


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You are mistaking two different things:
1) First, there is no legally required minimum salary, other than the equivalent of minimum wage (e.g. your weekly salary must equal at least 40 hours x $7.25 or $290/week, under federal law; some states have a slightly higher minimum); all a salary is, is a way of paying you (a fixed amount/week, not by hour), not a guaranteed minimum, other than the equivalent of minimum wage for a full work week.
2) There is as threshold for not earning overtime: even salaried employees can get overtime (a extra or premium payment) when working more than 40 hours per week. To be exempt from overtime, you must have an annual salary of at least $23,600 per year (the $47k to which you refer was a proposed increase in that threshold, but never went into effect) and also meet certain "tests" for exemption which can be found on the U.S. Dept. of Labor website under "overtime," such as the "administrative employee" or "executive employee" test (which really should be called the "managerial employee" test, since it applies to non-executive managers). If you job duties and/or authority meet one or more of the tests, and you earn more than $23,600 per year in salary, you do not earn overtime. 

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