Who is eligible for overtime? It's complicated!

Under a new regulation from the Labor Department, beginning in December, most salaried workers earning up to $47,476 a year must receive time-and-a-half overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours during a week. This greatly increases the previous cutoff of $23,660, making far more workers eligible for overtime pay.

The complicated part of above is "most salaried workers". It's not so simple to know who fits in that category. First you need to know if you are covered by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and/or your state's wage and hour law.

The Federal law has two routes for overtime eligibility. The fist is based on duties. Those spending most of their time in a decision making capacity, using discretion, and independent judgment are not eligible for over time. The second is based on pay. Regardless of duties if your salary is below the cut off you are eligible for overtime.

Even with the above, certain categories of workers, like teachers, doctors and outside sales representatives continue to be exempt from the regulation.

So, those who do not make important decisions for their company, and don't work in a field that's ineligible for overtime, are probably entitled to overtime pay when working more than 40 hours in a week or, in some states, like California, when they work more than eight hours in a day. Surprisingly complicated!