The Maine Department of Labor has posted updated information on its website intended to aid employers grappling with new overtime rules set to take effect in December.

The post explains the new rules, which will raise the threshold for exempt salaried workers to $47,476, and offers examples of how to determine the status of workers under various employment categories.

In advance of the upcoming federal mandates, the state will be revising some of its employment laws to comply with the new federal rules. Julie Rabinowitz, director of policy, operations and communications for the Maine Department of Labor, said, for instance, that there are a couple of places under the “white-collar” salaried workers category where state and federal laws diverge.

Maine rules prohibit the use of bonuses as part of a base salary, which also was not allowed under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. But the federal law will change in December, allowing bonuses or commissions to make up as much as 10 percent of a person’s salary.

“Maine needs to update its rule,” Rabinowitz said in an email to the Press Herald. “Until we do, using that 10 percent would not be allowed in Maine once the new federal rule goes into effect.”

Another change will have to be made under the Highly Compensated Employee exemption. That exemption is not recognized by state statute, but the federal rule will allow people making $134,004 a year to be considered exempt from overtime rules.

The state will be working through rule changes to make those adjustments so they are in compliance once the new federal rules are implemented in December.

The state Labor Department has been encouraging managers to dive deeply into their staff’s employment classifications so they understand the duties test for their employees and classify them appropriately.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.