By Kathleen J. Jennings (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Remember the uproar about the increase in the salary threshold for certain overtime exemptions? Although implementation of the substantial salary threshold increase proposed by the Obama administration never came to fruition, the issue has not gone away entirely. Today, the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the U.S. Department of Labor announced that in the upcoming weeks it will hold “public listening sessions” to gather views on the Part 541 white collar exemption regulations, often referred to as the “Overtime Rule.” Issued under the Fair Labor Standards Act, these regulations implement exemptions from overtime pay requirements for executive, administrative, professional, and certain other employees. The Department plans to update the Overtime Rule and is interested in hearing the views and ideas of participants on possible revisions to the regulations.
According to its website, the WHD seeks public input on questions such as:
What is the appropriate salary level (or range of salary levels) above which the overtime exemptions for bona fide executive, administrative, or professional employees may apply?
What benefits and costs to employees and employers might accompany an increased salary level?
- How would an increased salary level affect real wages (e.g., increasing overtime pay for employees whose current salaries are below a new level but above the current threshold)?
- Could an increased salary level reduce litigation costs by reducing the number of employees whose exemption status is unclear?
- Could this additional certainty produce other benefits for employees and employers?
What is the best methodology to determine an updated salary level?
- Should the update derive from wage growth, cost-of-living increases, actual wages paid to employees, or some other measure?
Should the Department more regularly update the standard salary level and the total-annual-compensation level for highly compensated employees?
- If so, how should these updates be made?
- How frequently should updates occur?
- What benefits, if any, could result from more frequent updates?
If you or your business want to share your thoughts with the WHD about these issues, you can attend the listening sessions in any of the following cities:
September 7, 2018, 10am-12pm
Intercontinental Buckhead Atlanta
3315 Peachtree Rd NE- Trippe Room
September 11, 2018, 10am-12pm
Jackson Federal Building
912 2nd Ave., Ste. 566
September 13, 2018, 10am-12pm
Holiday Inn Country Club Plaza
One E 45th St, -Ballroom A/B
Kansas City, MO
September 14, 2018, 10am-12pm
Remington Arms Room
DFC- Building 41
September 24, 2018, 10am-12pm
Rhode Island Convention Center
1 Sabin Street- Room 551A/B
There is no fee to attend the listening sessions; however, registration is required.
We expect that there will be some increase in the salary threshold for the overtime pay requirements for executive, administrative, professional, and certain other employees, but it will not be as large as the one proposed by the Obama administration. We will continue to provide updates on this issue.
Kathleen Jennings, Principal is a principal in the Atlanta office of Wimberly, Lawson, Steckel, Schneider, & Stine, P.C. She defends employers in sexual harassment and other employment litigation and provides training and counseling to employers in employment matters. She can be contacted at email@example.com.
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