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The Work Week with Bassford Remele
November 20, 2023
Welcome to another edition of The Work Week with Bassford Remele. Each Monday morning, we will publish and send a new article to your inbox to hopefully assist you in jumpstarting your work week.
Thoughts, Questions, Concerns: DOL Proposed Rulemaking Change to Overtime Pay and What People Have to Say About It
On August 30, 2023, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) proposed an increase in salary threshold for exemptions to the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (“FLSA”) overtime pay requirements. Currently, the rule states that workers must earn at least $35,568 annually (or about $684 per week) and perform certain duties to qualify for the “white-collar” overtime exemptions. Workers that had a salary under $35,568 would need to be paid overtime if they worked more than 40 hours per week. Under the proposed change, an employee making less than $55,068 annually (or $1,059 per week) would be eligible for overtime pay. This change represents about a 55% increase and would impact approximately 3.6 million workers. The change would also affect the salary level for the “highly compensated employee” exemption by raising it from $107,432 to $143,988 (approximately a 37% increase).
The purpose behind this change would be to assist lower-income, working Americans and ensure they are paid fairly for long hours on the job. This change, as presented, was meant to support economic growth because more people would be able to make and retain more money every paycheck.
The proposed change had been previously presented under the Obama administration in 2016 but was ultimately denied by a Texas federal court. In rebuking the proposed change, the court reasoned that “this significant increase would essentially make an employee’s duties, functions, or tasks irrelevant if the employee’s salary falls below the minimum salary level.” The court went on to conclude that the DOL exceeded its authority by raising the salary level so high.
The proposed change was published by the DOL on September 4, 2023, and open to public commentary for 60 days. The time for commentary closed on November 7, 2023. The following are a few of the public reactions to the proposed change:
With this decision regarding the new rule looming, employers should be proactive and examine the current state of their business. Businesses should prepare themselves for this potential threshold increase through the following steps:
Bassford Remele is your trusted partner for navigating new developments in employment law. We regularly advise clients on policies and procedures to ensure they are compliant. If you’re seeking guidance or have questions or concerns, the experienced attorneys in Bassford Remele’s Employment Law practice group are here to assist you.
The Work Week with Bassford Remele, 11/20/23 (print version)
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Bassford Remele | November 20, 2023
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