Almost two years ago, the President signed a “Presidential Memorandum” which directed the United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) to update the regulations regarding the so called “white collar” salary exemption from overtime. The DOL reports on its website that it “embarked on an extensive outreach program, conducting listening sessions in Washington, DC, and several other locations, as well as by conference call … attended by a wide range of stakeholders: employees, employers, business associations, non-profit organizations, employee advocates, unions, state and local government representatives, tribal representatives, and small business … to address, among other issues: (1) what is the appropriate salary level for exemption; (2) what if any changes should be made to the duties tests; and (3) how the regulations could be simplified.” See www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/nprm2015/
The current rules (broadly) state that “white collar” employees whose primary job duties involve executive, administrative or professional duties are exempt from overtime regulations if they earn at least $455 a week (or $23,660 per year).
In July, 2015, the DOL published a notice of proposed rulemaking so that interested parties could submit written comments on the proposed rules by September 4, 2015 to help shape the final rule. The DOL proposed to raise the salary threshold to $970 a week or $50,440 a year. That proposal is pending a review before the Office of Management and Budget. Meantime, earlier this month, legislators in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate introduced bills which would halt the proposed overtime regulation from going forward and which delineates the conditions for considering any new overtime proposals. Congressional Republicans agree generally that the overtime rules need an overhaul, but many contend that President Obama’s proposal is “too drastic” a change and will result in job cuts. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and several retail industry groups “welcome the introduction of this commonsense legislation.” See www.cstoredecisions.com/2016/03/17/will-new-legislation-halt-overtime-rule and www.uschamber.com/press-release/us-chamber-applauds-introduction-legislation-stop-dol-s-misguided-overtime-regulation
Stay tuned…just what will happen remains to be seen.
If you have questions regarding overtime rules, please contact Amy R. Reasner at Lynch Dallas, P.C. at firstname.lastname@example.org or 319-365-9101.