In addition to increasing the salary threshold for white-collar exemptions, the Department of Labor's newly proposed federal overtime rule would raise the salary cutoff for highly compensated employees to $147,414.

Workers who don't earn the minimum salary may need to be given raises or reclassified to nonexempt status and paid overtime premiums. It's not clear, however, how many workers would need adjustments because some may qualify for another exemption, said Meredith Dante, an attorney with Ballard Spahr in Philadelphia.

Some states—such as California, New York, and Pennsylvania—don't recognize the exemption for highly compensated employees.

"With the increased national focus on pay equity and living wages …I wouldn't be surprised to see more states increase the threshold," Dante said.

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