New Overtime Salary Begins on Jan 1, 2020 – Are H1-B Employees Eligible?

Beginning January 1, 2020 1.3 million exempt employees are going to become eligible for overtime according to a new ruling by the US Department of Labor. Per an amendment of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) the minimum salary will be increased to $35,568 annually, or $684 weekly. Currently, it is $23,660 per year, or $455 per week. This will impact the compensation packages of several non-immigrant foreign workers who

Know Your Rights and Responsibilities on an H1-B Visa

Read this to know what you can and cannot do

The biggest impact is going to be on employees who are working exempt but not making the minimum threshold. They will now be non-exempt and be eligible for overtime compensation at 1.5 times over the salary range.

Are You Eligible for Overtime Salary on a H1-B Work Visa?

While most non-immigrant workers coming into the US on a H1-B work visa already make the cut for the upper salary threshold as they are hired as specialty workers having a minimum educational qualification of at least a Bachelor’s degree in their field and are almost always an exempt employee, except in the case of contractual workers. Several occupations that recruit H1-B workers include skilled workers in the computer field, healthcare and finance, mathematics and science.

Are You Preparing For the FY 2021 H1-B cap Lottery?

Here’s what you should know about the latest changes

A non-immigrant worker is considered exempt from the new ruling if they meet the following criteria. This covers both salary as well as job duty definitions:

  • Be salaried and not compensated on an hourly basis
  • Already meets the minimum FLSA salary threshold of $35,568 per year starting in 2020.
  • Perform executive, administrative, and professional job duties
  • Owned more than 5% of the interest in a business at any time during the year or preceding year
  • Received compensation from the business of more than $125,000 in 2019 and was in the top 20% of employees when ranked by compensation.
  • Computer systems analysts who apply systems analysis techniques and procedures, including consulting with users to determine hardware, software, or system functional specifications
  • Software engineers who design, develop, document, analyze, create, test, or modify computer systems or programs, including prototypes, based on and related to user or system design specifications
  • Computer programmers who are involved in designing, documenting, testing, creating, or modifying computer programs related to machine operating systems.

Are Computer Programers Not Going to Be Given H1-B Visa in 2020?

Read this before you apply for the Fy2021 cap lottery

How Does the New Salary Ruling Affect Contract Workers on a Non-Immigrant Visa?

It does not affect independent contract employees who may be working off-site at a client location. The FLSA does not cover independent contractors, who are brought in to by a US employer to work on specific projects. To be noted, if the contractor is employed by a single employer, the FLSA could apply. They should talk with a reliable immigration lawyer to clarify their position nd compensation expectations.