While same-sex marriage and the Affordable Care Act have gotten all of the press lately, employers in the Black Hills and beyond might not be aware of another federal action that could have far-reaching impact on just about every employer in the United States. The Department of Labor announced proposed rule changes regarding overtime exemptions for salaried workers under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Department officials say the changes are needed because low-level managers and others are being unfairly excluded from overtime pay.

Right now, workers must be paid more than $455 a week, or $23,660 a year, to be exempt from overtime. That would more than double, to $970 per week, or $50,440 a year, under the proposal. In addition, the Department of Labor wants that level to be annually adjusted to reflect the rate of inflation. One thing that was not addressed is the definition of duties for salaried employees. Even if your pay level meets the exemption requirement, your job still must involve administrative, executive, professional or sales duties to be exempt. There’s another exemption: highly compensated employees. Regardless of your duties, if you are paid more than $100,000 a year, you are exempt from overtime. The Department of Labor proposes raising that to more than $122,000 a year. Currently, the rules changes are proposed. Department of Labor will take public comment and then issue the final draft. The new exemptions could go into effect by 2016.