How overtime, noncompete changes could affect Charlotte workers

CHARLOTTE — Overtime pay is being mandated for millions of salaried workers, according to an updated U.S. Department of Labor rule.

In addition, the Federal Trade Commission said employers can no longer use noncompete agreements to stop their employees from going to work for other companies.

The changes were announced by the Biden administration Tuesday. They estimate about 4 million more salaried workers could be eligible to get overtime under the new rules, and said 1 in 5 Americans currently work under noncompete clauses.

The changes will have a big impact on American workers, especially here in Charlotte.

Gabby Moore has a salaried job in financial services, but she said that consistent paycheck isn’t always an advantage.

“If you’re doing extra work, you should always be paid for that, regardless of what level you’re at,” she said.

“I think certain jobs even take advantage of it, where they will approach the salaried workers for that extra project first because they know they don’t have to pay you extra for it,” Moore said.

Currently, salaried employees who earn less than about $35,000 a year are eligible for overtime when they work more than 40 hours a week. Starting July 1, workers earning up to $44,000 will be eligible, and by Jan. 1, companies will be forced to pay overtime to salaried employees making almost $60,000 a year.

Noncompete clauses

The FTC ban on noncompetes allows all but senior executives making more than about $150,000 a year the option to take a job with a rival employer without having to sit out a waiting period.

Moore is under a noncompete now. She’s not looking to leave but said it’s a good policy change.

“I know in some positions, it can keep you stuck at a job longer depending on how they formatted those noncompete clauses,” she said.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce opposes the changes and is suing the FTC.

Local human resources consultancy Catapult is recommending its member businesses don’t make any changes just yet for that reason. It said firms should start to identify employees who may need a salary bump or a change in employment status.

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Evan Donovan

Evan Donovan, wsoctv.com

Evan is an anchor and reporter for Channel 9.