Department of Labor Extends Overtime Benefits for Salaried Workers

26 May 2016
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The U.S. Department of Labor has updated its rules on overtime wages for salaried employees. Effective December 1, 2016, salaried workers who make $47,476 a year (or $913 a week) or less will be entitled to overtime pay after 40 hours. The previous threshold was $23,660 a year (or $455 a week).

“The updates will impact 4.2 million workers who will either gain new overtime protections or get a raise to the new salary threshold,” said Heidi Shierholz, chief economist at the Department of Labor.

The department also reports that 56% of these workers are women, and 53% of these workers have at least a 4-year college degree. Also, 61% are age 35 or older, and 1.5 million of them are parents of children under the age of 18.

According to the ADA, about 39% of all dental offices have at least one employee in a salaried position. Exemptions to the rule include bona fide executive, administrative, professional, and outside sales employees, as well as certain computer employees.

The threshold will be updated every 3 years to match the 40th percentile of full-time salaried workers in the lowest-income region of the country. Also, bonuses and incentive programs can count toward up to 10% of the new salary level, as long as they are provided at least quarterly.

According to, the median annual dental hygienist salary in the United States, as of April 26, 2016, is $68,143, with a range usually between $58,482 and $77,562. The median annual dental assistant salary is $34,446 as of April 26, ranging from $30,575 to $38,086.

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