FLSA Announces Public Listening Sessions on Issues Related to Overtime Regulations

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The Department of Labor recently announced five public listening sessions soliciting feedback on various questions related to updating federal overtime requirements.

The Department of Labor (DOL) has announced a series of five public listening sessions to solicit feedback on the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) white-collar exemption regulations. EDUCAUSE members may recall that the Obama administration issued final regulations in 2016 changing the white-collar exemptions to the FLSA overtime pay requirements. Under federal law, employees are entitled to overtime pay at the rate of one-and-a-half times their normal hourly rate for all hours worked over forty (40) in a given workweek. There are exemptions to this requirement, however, such as the white-collar exemption. In order to qualify for this exemption, an employee must (1) be paid on a salary basis, (2) be paid at least the minimum salary threshold set by the department, and (3) have primary responsibilities consistent with executive, administrative, or professional positions as defined by DOL (known as the primary duties test).

The 2016 rule increased the minimum salary threshold from $23,660 per year to $47,476 per year and also established a mechanism for automatically increasing the salary threshold every three years. However, in September 2017, a federal court struck down the Obama-era rule on the basis that the DOL exceeded its statutory authority in increasing the salary threshold by such an extent. The court's action effectively nullified the rule.

The Trump Administration has indicated in its regulatory agenda that it intends to propose a rule updating the salary threshold for federal overtime requirements; that proposal is currently slated for release in January 2019. President Trump's DOL issued a Request for Information (RFI) in 2017 seeking public input on the Obama-era rulemaking, as well as potential changes for overtime requirements under the FLSA. EDUCAUSE joined CUPA-HR in filing comments in response to the RFI.

The announcement for public listening sessions represents the next step in DOL's attempt to update the regulations and is the latest action since issuance of the RFI. For more information, please see the Washington Insider Alert from CUPA-HR.

Kathryn Branson is an associate with Ulman Public Policy.

© 2018 Kathryn Branson. The text of this work is licensed under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 International License.