Local businesses, community prepare for final overtime rule

On Dec. 1 the new overtime regulations will be put into effect. This rule increases the salary threshold from $23,660 to $47,476 for executive, administrative and white collar workers.

On Dec. 1 the new overtime regulations will be put into effect. This rule increases the salary threshold from $23,660 to $47,476 for executive, administrative and white collar workers.

Overtime pay threshold to be increased, affect millions of employees

For Kyle and Maggie Gordon, owners of Dillas Primo Quesadillas at 2008 Midway Road, Plano, the new U.S. Department of Labor overtime rule creates a challenge for their growing business.

On Dec. 1 the new overtime regulations will be put into effect. This rule increases the salary threshold from $23,660 to $47,476 for executive, administrative and white collar workers. The new salary standard is the 40th percentile of earnings for full-time salaried workers in “the lowest-wage Census Region, currently the South,” according to the DOL. About 4.2 million workers will be impacted by this rule with 370,000 employees in Texas, according to the DOL.

The Gordons are opening a second location in Frisco this February and are looking to create an assistant general manager position. However, the new rule may slow down the hiring and training for this position.

“[The regulation is] not going to stop us,” Kyle said. “It’s just going to slow us down and that’s frustrating as a business because the whole point of business is to grow and provide more jobs and to provide more opportunities to the people who are working for you.”

An employee increasing from a pay rate of $10-$13 an hour to an assistant general manager position at $36,000 a year plus bonuses is reasonable, but increasing pay to $47,476 is a big jump, Kyle said.

“If they were at $36,000 then they could stay longer and they could get 50 [hours in] under the exempt rule,” Maggie said. “They would have been able to do that and get to a general manager position faster.”

At an Aug. 18 Plano Chamber of Commerce workshop, Dallas employment lawyers Kim Moore and Monica Velazquez of Strasburger & Price discussed how the new regulation will affect local businesses. Moore also serves as chair on the chamber's board of directors.

One consistent question asked referred to the DOL's 10 percent rule stating that bonuses and commissions may satisfy up to 10 percent of the new standard salary level. Moore said employers have to be careful with this rule to ensure employees are still meeting the standard salary on a quarterly basis.

"[They] still have to fit within the rules the Department of Labor has set out," she said.

Moore and Velazquez stressed the importance of preparing now for this new regulation. Both suggested auditing current exempt employee job positions based on salary ranges to decide which jobs would remain exempt and which would move to nonexempt. Once nonexempt employees are identified, employers then need to enforce timekeeping procedures, they said.

To abide by this rule employers have four options, according to the DOL:

  • Pay time-and-a-half to employees for working overtime.

  • Raise the employee’s salary from it’s current pay to $47,476 or higher.

  • Limit an employee's hours to 40 hours per week by adjusting schedules, spreading out work hours or reorganizing workloads.

  • Implement a combination of the above.

Velazquez said employers need to prepare internally and should do a test run before Dec. 1.
By Cassidy Ritter
Cassidy graduated from the University of Kansas in 2016 with a degree in Journalism and a double minor in business and global studies. She has worked as a reporter and editor for publications in Kansas, Colorado and Australia. She was hired as senior reporter for Community Impact Newspaper's Plano edition in August 2016. Less than a year later, she took the role of editor for the McKinney edition.


The playground, volleyball courts and basketball court at Plano's Russell Creek Park are expected to undergo a significant renovation later this year. (Screenshot from Google Maps)
Plano plans $1.2M renovation of Russell Creek Park playground, volleyball and basketball courts

The renovations are expected to cost roughly $1.2 million and would begin as early as the end of September.

The restaurant took steps to save money by catering to changing demands of their customers. Staff first offered survivor-style kits and then transitioned to cooked meals that were popular for to-go orders. (Courtesy Haywire)
Haywire, Front Burner restaurants regaining footing as restrictions loosen

Haywire retained 99% of its staff following more than a month of furlough for many.

SNAP, a federal program overseen in Texas by the HHSC, assists around 1.4 million eligible low-income individuals and families statewide. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Emergency SNAP food benefits extended in Texas during COVID-19 pandemic

SNAP assists around 1.4 million eligible low-income individuals and families in Texas.

Many of those present at the gathering of Collin County Churches wore shirts and held signs that said "praying for justice and against racism." More shirts with the same message were handed out to the crowd. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
Photos: Scenes from prayer gathering hosted by Collin County Churches

Pastors and staff from about 10 churches prayed and spoke about racism and injustice from the steps of the Collin County Courthouse during the June 4 gathering..

The city of Plano has begun a construction project on Parker Road. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Parker Road construction to affect traffic in Plano

A section of Parker Road is being affected by a new six-month construction project that will eventually span from Independence Parkway to Preston Road.

Plano-based JCPenney announced May 15 that it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. (Daniel Houston/Community Impact Newspaper)
JCPenney store in Lewisville mall among those closing as part of company restructuring

The JCPenney store at Music City Mall in Lewisville is among 154 stores across the country to permanently close as part of the retailer's plan to get a handle on its finances amid bankruptcy.

CMS also unveiled an interactive map that lets users search any nursing home in the U.S. to see its COVID-19 cases. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
CMS reports 321 coronavirus deaths in Texas nursing homes, nearly 32,000 nationwide

CMS also unveiled an interactive map that lets users search any nursing home in the U.S. to its COVID-19 cases.

Frisco announced the spray park at J.R. Newman Park will reopen June 5 along with the spray parks at Frisco Commons and Shepherd's Glen Park. (Courtesy city of Frisco)
Spray parks return to Frisco and more: Business and community news from the DFW area

Read the latest business and community news from Community Impact Newspaper's coverage of the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-Centennial in Frisco is part of a large health system that announced a series of layoffs and furloughs last week. (Courtesy Baylor Scott & White)
North Texas hospitals, hit by revenue losses, lobby for Medicaid program expansion

A group of North Texas hospitals plans to promote expanding Medicaid ahead of next year’s session of the Texas Legislature as the state’s health system deals with substantial revenue losses incurred during the coronavirus pandemic.

The creation of a task force is in addition to the district researching and collaborating with the Texas Education Agency, according to a June 3 update from the district. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
District creates task force, prepares for Plano ISD 2020-21 school year

Plano ISD shared its key priorities in planning for the 2020-21 school year as well as the creation of a planning task force in a June 3 update to parents.

Plano Senior High and Plano West Senior High will begin summer training June 8, while Plano East Senior High will begin June 15. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
Plano ISD senior high schools to begin offering summer training

Plano ISD senior high schools will begin offering summer strength and conditioning training over the next few weeks, according to spokesperson Lesley Range-Stanton.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Phase 3 of his Open Texas plan June 3. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
Gov. Greg Abbott's June 3 guidelines allow most Texas businesses to operate at 50% capacity

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott continues to lift coronavirus-related business restrictions.