In 2015 the United States Department of Labor issued a notice of proposed rulemaking related to updates to the Fair Labor Standards Act, specifically updates to the overtime rule. The overtime rule defines which employees must be paid overtime and which employees can be exempted from overtime.
The USDOL received more than 270,000 comments during the review period. Those comments helped create the final rule which was to raise the salary threshold for classification of exempt employees from $455 per week to $913 per week, or $47,476 annually. The rule was to become effective December 1, 2016; however, an injunction put a hold on the rule.
The USDOL under the Trump administration has delayed its response to the injunction and now has released a request for information on the overtime rule, which has generated robust debate on both sides of the issue for the past two years.
Business organizations argue that the increase in the threshold is too high, placing an undue burden on businesses. Worker advocate groups feel that since the threshold was last updated in 2004 that the current threshold is outdated and results in low wage employees working overtime with no pay.
Comments on the overtime rule will be accepted for the next 60 days. The USDOL will consider the comments as it creates another new proposal for determining which employees should be exempted from overtime pay and other benefits. You may submit your comments via regulations.gov.
The current FLSA overtime threshold of $455 per week is still in effect for employers. For more information about classification of employees as exempt or nonexempt, visit the FLSA page of the USDOL Wage and Hour Division website.