Employers Will Wait Longer than Expected for FLSA Overtime Regulations

Twice a year the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announces matters it plans to consider in the coming months and years.  Acting on a Presidential directive, the DOL last spring announced plans to consider regulations regarding overtime for “white collar” workers under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  The announcement, included in the Semiannual Regulatory Agenda available at www.regulations .gov, includes consideration of the topics:

  • “Defining and Delimiting the Exemptions for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales, and Computer Employees” and
  • “Right to Know Under the Fair Labor Standards Act”

“White Collar” Overtime Exemption

The FLSA provides a minimum wage and overtime exemption for executive, administrative, and professional employees earning a salary of at least $455 per week.  The regulations implementing this exemption have not been updated since 2004 and the concern is that many workers lack the protections of overtime because of outdated regulations, modern economics and the low salary threshold.  Consequently, President Obama directed the DOL to update FLSA regulations to address the changing nature of the workplace and simplify the regulations to make them easier for both workers and businesses to understand and apply.

FLSA “Right to Know”

The purpose of the Right to Know regulation is to update FLSA recordkeeping requirements to enhance the transparency and disclosure to workers of their status as the employer’s employee or some other status, such as an independent contractor, and if an employee, how their pay is computed.

Anticipated Regulations

The Right to Know regulation is still on the DOL’s long-term schedule, but the agency had planned to issue the proposed “white collar” overtime rules this November.  Last week, however, the DOL Solicitor of Labor M. Patricia Smith confirmed that the overtime regulations are still months away.

The overtime regulations are considered economically significant and will require employers to reassess their FLSA compliance.  Proposed regulations must go through a lengthy review process before going into effect so employers still have plenty of time to evaluate their workforce, employee compensation practices and the jobs they perform.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *