Overtime Regulations Finalized

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Update: Department of Labor Announces Final Rule to Update Overtime Regulations

On September 24, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced a final rule to update and revise Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) white collar exemptions by raising the salary level for an exemption from $455 per week ($23,660 annually) to $684 per week ($35,568 annually).

By raising the salary level threshold from the current 2004 level, FLSA overtime protections will cover 1.3 million more workers.

To be exempt from FLSA overtime pay requirements, employees must generally be paid on a salary basis at or above a specified minimum weekly salary level and meet certain requirements related to their primary job duties.

This proposed rule has been in the works for a few years. On May 23, 2016, the DOL issued a final rule increasing the standard salary level; however, it was declared invalid by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas and an appeal was filed.

In this rulemaking, the DOL proposes to formally rescind the 2016 rule and propose a new rule that both:

  • Updates the minimum weekly standard salary level to reflect growth in wages and salaries; and
  • Allows the inclusion of certain nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments to count towards up to 10 percent of the standard salary level.

The DOL also proposes:

  • To update the total annual compensation requirement for the “highly compensated employee” test.
  • To revise the special salary levels for employees in the motion picture industry and certain U.S. territories.
  • An intention to propose updates to the earnings thresholds every four years (but it does not propose automatic adjustments as previously expected).

What Now?

Employers should begin to review and analyze the reclassification of employees. This analysis should incorporate not only the FLSA but also any applicable state and/or locality minimum wage rate because the higher rate controls and requires compliance.

We’ll Explain Later

Our April 16, 2019, webinar features wage and hour experts explaining what employers need to know and do to be compliant with the new white collar exemption regulations. It’s now available to ThinkHR customers for on-demand viewing. (Log into your ThinkHR account before clicking the link.)

Subscribe to our blog so we can keep you up-to-date on the latest developments in this ongoing saga, and, if you really want to get into the weeds, read some of the dozen or so posts we have already published on this topic.

Samantha Yurman, JD

Samantha Yurman is one of ThinkHR’s legal editors. She is a licensed attorney in California and Florida with over 16 years of experience researching and analyzing human resources legislation and law. Samantha uses her expertise to translate highly technical legal topics into usable information for our clients.

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