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July 1, 2024, marks a milestone as the Department of Labor (DOL) implements a new salaried exempt minimum wage. This shift requires careful consideration from both employers and employees alike. While preparation is key, it's essential to approach this transition with both strategic planning and caution. In this blog, we'll explore the nuances of the DOL's new regulations, offer insights into effective planning strategies, and underscore the importance of navigating this change thoughtfully.

The DOL's updated regulations introduced revised thresholds for employees to qualify as exempt from overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Key components of these updates include:

  • The minimum annual salary threshold for exempt employees rises to $43,888 on July 1, 2024.

  • Alongside the salary threshold, employees must meet specific duties tests to qualify for exempt status, evaluating the nature of their job responsibilities.

To effectively prepare for the new regulations, employers should consider the following strategies:


This entails a review of your workforce to identify employees falling below the new salary threshold.  Keep in mind that you need to review the category each employee falls into to ensure you are evaluating against the correct minimum wage threshold. Now is also a great time to evaluate their roles and responsibilities to determine eligibility for exempt status.


Assess the financial implications of salary adjustments versus reclassification. Consider budget constraints and operational costs. Keep in mind that as wages go up so do other costs like workers’ compensation and many insurances/benefits.


While completing a financial analysis, consider looking at your overall compensation structure, as this minimum wage increase could necessitate changes to your compensation plan.


Develop a clear communication strategy to inform employees about upcoming changes, address concerns and questions transparently. Hold on to this plan until you are positive there will be no legal challenges.


Provide thorough training for HR and management teams on the new regulations.  While proactive planning is encouraged, caution should be exercised to avoid premature implementation!  Here are some of the pitfalls of prematurely implementing changes:

  • Given the evolving landscape of labor regulations, there is a great chance that these rules will be met with legal challenges, delays, stays, and changes.  This is exactly what happened in 2016-2017 when the DOL proposed similar changes.  Employers who made the changes or announcements too early were forced with difficult decisions resulting in some employers pulling back announced increases.  This can result in serious morale and productivity issues. 

  • Premature announcements when the leadership is unsure themselves may also cause confusion and anxiety among employees.

In addition to the announced July 1 changes, there are anticipated adjustments for January 2025 as well.  The DOL plans further adjustments effective January 1, 2025, with the minimum salary threshold increasing to $58,656 per year. This staged approach should be carefully reviewed as you prepare for the new regulations. 

The DOL's new regulations signal a significant shift in labor standards, demanding careful planning and execution. By navigating this transition with foresight and caution, employers can ensure compliance while fostering a positive workplace environment amidst evolving regulatory landscapes. In short, as employers, we should be prepared for these changes and adapt policies accordingly.  Sage Solutions Group is here to support you in reviewing your options related to this new regulation.