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How 'New' Are the Federal Overtime Regulations?

The Department of Labor's "white collar" exemptions to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) went into effect on August 21, 2004. The "new" regulations are, for the most part, really nothing more than a reflection of court decisions and Department of Labor opinions that have served to interpret the FLSA during the past 50 years.

In essence, the federal government finally did something about all of the needless litigation concerning who is and is not entitled to receive overtime by writing clearer guidelines for all to follow.

For the most part, the same "white collar" exemptions for salaried employees who fall within the traditionally exempted categories – executive, administrative, professional, computer-related or outside sales – continue to exist. For example, the computer employee exemption continues to apply to computer systems analysts, computer programmers, software engineers or other similarly skilled workers in the computer field.