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Total Articles: 142

Department of Labor Abandons Appeal of Overtime Rule

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) asked a federal appeals court to dismiss its appeal of the court order blocking its controversial 2016 “overtime rule” from taking effect, signaling the DOL’s official abandonment of the Obama-era rule in favor of the agency’s plan to pursue less-drastic overtime reform.

With the Overtime Appeal Over, It’s Now Time to Focus on the Do-Over

With the appeal of the overtime injunction in federal court now over, employers and trade associations now need to focus on the overtime do-over that is underway at the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). More specifically, comments in response to the DOL’s request for information (RFI) regarding potential changes to the salary and duties tests for the white-collar regulations under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) are due no later than Monday, September 25.

Oral Argument on Overtime Rule Appeal Scheduled for October 2nd

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals tentatively has set oral argument for October 2nd on the Obama-era overtime pay rule that has been blocked from government enforcement by a federal district court in Texas since last November.

Possible October Oral Arguments In Exemption Appeal

The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has "tentatively" scheduled oral arguments for the week of October 2, 2017 regarding the U.S. Department of Labor's efforts to overturn last November's preliminary injunction blocking salary-related changes affecting the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's "white collar" exemptions.

Oral Argument in Overtime Appeal to be Held in Early October

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has tentatively scheduled oral argument for the week of October 2 in a highly watched case involving revised overtime regulations that were supposed to become effective last December. Those regulations were temporarily enjoined on a nationwide basis by a federal judge in Texas just before Thanksgiving.

Labor Department Asks for Public Input on FLSA White Collar Exemptions

As a preliminary step to replacing the December 1, 2016, Fair Labor Standards Act “white collar” exemptions Final Rule, the Department of Labor has issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking public comment on a wide variety of issues related to potential revisions of the Rule. Comments on the RFI, published in the Federal Register on July 26, 2017, are by September 25, 2017.

DOL Seeks Input Before Issuing New Proposed Rulemaking on the White Collar Exemptions

On July 25, 2017, the Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division announced its intent to publish a Request for Information (RFI) seeking input from the public before issuing revised proposed overtime exemption regulations to address, most significantly, the minimum salary level required for exempt status. These regulations apply to workers employed in an executive, administrative or professional capacity, and meet specific criteria relating to salary basis, salary level and job duties. The regulations, codified at 29 C.F.R. part 541, are referred to as the “white collar” exemptions.

USDOL To Publish "White Collar" Exemption Information Request (Updated 07 26 17)

A U.S. Department of Labor Request for Information will be published tomorrow morning to seek additional public comment regarding the 2016 compensation revisions in the regulations defining the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's so-called "white collar" exemptions. The agency has now released a preview of the document that will appear in the Federal Register.

Groundhog Day: DOL Issues Request for Information on Enjoined Overtime Rule

As Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta testified in early June, the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has issued its request for information (RFI) on the Part 541 overtime regulations that were finalized in 2016. In this RFI, the DOL is seeking new comments, data, and information on an appropriate salary level for bona fide executive, administrative and professional exempt employees pursuant to section 13(a)(1) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), as defined in the Part 541 regulations. This RFI will be published in the Federal Register on Wednesday, July 26, 2017.

DOL Asks for Input on New Overtime Rule

The US Department of Labor (DOL) is seeking comment from the public, including employers, on its plans to update the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime rules.

DOL Brief in Overtime Rules Case Leaves New Uncertainty

On June 30, the U.S. Department of Labor filed its long-awaited brief announcing the new administration’s position on the ongoing litigation over the FLSA overtime exemption rules published last May. As readers may recall, the new rules would have increased the minimum salary for exempt employees from $455 per week to $913 per week. The rules were blocked by a preliminary injunction from a U.S. District Court just days before they were to take effect last November. The Department of Labor appealed that injunction ruling to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals shortly before President Obama left office. That appeal has been on hold while the new administration reviewed its position on the regulations and the lawsuit.

Context Matters: Mortgage Underwriters Don’t Meet FLSA’s Administrative Exemption, Ninth Circuit Concludes

Mortgage underwriters do not qualify for the Fair Labor Standards Act’s administrative exemption because they are more appropriately characterized as “production” employees, according to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. McKeen-Chaplin v. Provident Savings Bank, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 11950 (9th Cir. July 5, 2017).

USDOL Submits Arguments In Salary Appeal

The U.S. Department of Labor has finally filed a Reply Brief supporting its request that the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals overturn last November's preliminary injunction that blocked the salary-related changes in the regulations defining the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's "white collar" exemptions.

DOL Intends to 'Revisit' 47k Minimum Salary for Overtime-Exempt Employees

The Trump administration today defended its right to establish a minimum salary level for overtime-exempt employees

Trump DOL to the Fifth Circuit: Uphold Ability to Set a Salary Level, But Don’t Rule on $913 Per Week Threshold

For the past seven months, employers throughout the country have been wondering what the future would hold with respect to the revised overtime regulations that were supposed to become effective last December and what position the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) under President Trump would take with respect to those regulations.

Some States Forge Ahead On Salary Thresholds

Since last November, employers have waited with bated breath for a resolution of the status of the U.S. Department of Labor's salary-threshold increase for an executive, administrative, professional, or derivative "white collar" exemption under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's Section 13(a)(1). To date, there have been no substantive developments with respect to the Texas court's preliminary injunction.

Putative Class and Collective Action Under Enjoined U.S. DOL Overtime Rule Appears to Face Strong Argument for Dismissal

On June 7, 2017, a plaintiff brought a putative class and collective action against Chipotle for alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and New Jersey’s Wage and Hour Law.1 The plaintiff asserts the company misclassified her “apprentice” position as salaried-exempt in violation of state and federal law. She claims her duties were those of an hourly non-exempt employee and she was entitled to overtime. The plaintiff also claims that Chipotle violated the salary basis test by failing to pay her at least $913 per week in violation of a DOL overtime rule that was enjoined and never went into effect. At least as to the latter claim, the plaintiff's complaint will likely be subject to a strong argument favoring dismissal, in light of the preliminary injunction issued last November by a federal judge in the Eastern District of Texas in Nevada v. Perez.

Acosta Plans to Rescue Overtime Rule with Information Request

During the course of his testimony, Secretary Acosta stated that the Department plans to file a request for information (RFI) “probably in the next two to three weeks” in which it will seek information in connection with the overtime rule and its salary level. Secretary Acosta noted that it is a “problem” when the dollar amount of the salary level is not updated “because life gets a lot more expensive.” He also testified that the manner in which the final salary level of $47,476 per year “was done created a shock to the system.”

Is a Nursing Coordinator Exempt From Overtime? Ninth Circuit Biopsies Administrative Exemption

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that whether a nursing staffing coordinator met the administrative exemption from federal overtime requirements is a factual issue that must be decided at trial. Quintiliani v. Concentric Healthcare Solutions, LLC, No. 14-17312 (December 1, 2016).

House of Representatives Passes Bill to Delay Overtime Rule Effective Date

On September 28, 2016, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 6094 Regulatory Relief for Small Businesses, Schools, and Nonprofits Act by a vote of 246 to 177. This bill would delay the December 1, 2016 effective date of the new salary level test in the final overtime rule for six months until June 1, 2017.

House Votes to Delay OT Rule But Employers Are Not Out of the Woods Yet

Yesterday, the United States House of Representatives passed a bill, H.R. 6094 (the “bill” referred to as the Regulatory Relief for Small Businesses, Schools and Nonprofits Act), that would delay the effective date of the Department of Labor’s new overtime rule by 6 months, from December 1, 2016 to June 1, 2017. The Vote passed the House 246-177, with 5 Democrats voting in favor of it. This is just the latest challenge to the DOL’s doubling of the minimum salary threshold for the white collar exemptions (executive, administrative, and professional) under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Business groups, congressional Republicans and State Officials have all criticized the drastic economic impact such a measure would have on businesses.

Keep Calm And Carry On: Part 2

The December 1 effective date for the increased dollar-amount thresholds for most of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's so-called "white collar" exemptions is now only a little more than two months away.

States and Business Groups File Lawsuits Seeking to Block DOL’s ‘White Collar’ Overtime Rule

Twenty-one states, led by Texas and Nevada, have filed a lawsuit against the Department of Labor seeking a preliminary and permanent injunction declaring unlawful the DOL’s Final Rule amending the overtime exemption for executive, administrative, and professional employees (the “white collar” exemptions) under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

FLSA "White Collar" Exemption Changes Challenged

Twenty-one states are challenging the U.S. Labor Department in court in an effort to stop or delay the impending increases to the dollar-amount thresholds for most of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act’s so-called "white collar" exemptions. The plaintiff states raise various arguments opposing the changes, in particular focusing on the application to public employers and future automatic updates. Merely hours later, numerous business groups filed a somewhat similar suit in the same district court on behalf of their members.

September Surprise? Two Federal Lawsuits Attack the Validity of the New FLSA Overtime Rule.

The effective date for the revisions to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) overtime regulations is less than 80 days away, and employers continue to struggle with the challenges created by changes to the existing rule. On September 20, 2016, federal court lawsuits were filed by two disparate groups, each attempting to put off or halt the implementation of the revisions.

21 States File Suit Challenging the DOL’s New Overtime Rule

Yesterday, a group of 21 states filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas challenging the Department of Labor’s new overtime rule, which is set to take effect on December 1, 2016. The group challenging the rule is led by Texas and Nevada, and includes the following states: Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, and Wisconsin. The lawsuit names as Defendants the DOL and its Wage and Hour Division, Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez, and Wage and Hour Administrator David Weil, and Assistant Administrator for Policy Mary Ziegler.

Overtime Rule Target of Lawsuit by 21 States

Several states today filed a lawsuit asking a federal court to nullify new Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime regulations from the US Department of Labor (DOL) before they take effect December 1.

Whom Does USDOL's Salary Increase Not Affect?

There appears to be some continuing misunderstanding about exactly which exempt employees might be affected by the December 1 increase in the minimum salary amount required to meet the basic compensation criterion for an executive, administrative, professional, or derivative exemption under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's Section 13(a)(1).

Is Proposed Legislation Likely To Slow Implementation of The New Overtime Regulations? Probably Not.

On May 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced the publication of its final rule updating its existing overtime regulations. The updated regulations are scheduled to become effective on December 1 of this year and are predicted to extend overtime pay protections to over 4 million workers within the first year of implementation. The updates include a provision under which employees are eligible for overtime compensation if they work over 40 hours in a week and earn less than $47,476 per year—an over 100 percent increase from the current salary threshold of $23,660.

"White Collar" Exemption Changes: Keep Calm And Carry On

Recent Congressional initiatives have targeted the impending increases in the U.S. Labor Department's dollar-amount thresholds for most of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's so-called "white collar" exemptions.

FAQs on the Final Overtime Regulations

On May 18, the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division released the new final overtime rule. The new minimum salary level for the executive, administrative, and professional employee exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) will be $913 per week, or $47,476 per year, under final regulations. This new salary threshold—which will become effective on December 1, 2016—more than doubles the current minimum salary level of $455 per week, or $23,660 per year and will have a dramatic impact on employers. Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about the new rule.

New DOL "White Collar" Overtime Exemptions Rule to be Put on Hold in Puerto Rico Under PROMESA

On June 30, 2016, President Obama signed the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (S. 2328), commonly known as “PROMESA.” This measure, which was enacted with bipartisan support, effectively delays application of the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) new overtime rule to employees in Puerto Rico.

Department of Labor’s New Overtime Final Rule Carries Class Action Risk

The U.S. Department of Labor’s new Final Rule as to the Fair Labor Standards Act’s “white collar” exemptions to overtime could open employers up to class action liability as previously exempt employees fail to meet new salary requirements.

Employer Concerns About The New Overtime Exemption Rules Aren't A Myth

Every economist knows that there’s no such thing as a free lunch. That’s as true in the labor market as in any other area of the economy, but you’d hardly know that by reading the DOL’s publications promoting its new overtime exemption rules. For example, in a recent blog post, Dr. David Weil, Administrator of the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division, set out to debunk some purported “myths” about the new rules. Reading this post, one is left with the impression that the new rules will benefit pretty much every affected employee with no real burden on employers. Here are some thoughts on these “myths” and the “truths” that Dr. Weil offers in response to each:

Update for Schools on the New Final Overtime Rule

he Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) is the federal wage and hour law that generally requires employers to pay overtime (at time-and-one-half of employees’ regular hourly wage rates) if employees work over 40 hours in a workweek. The FLSA, however, contains certain broad exemptions. If an employee is “exempt,” the employer is not required to pay the employee overtime pay.

What are the Most Significant Changes the DOL Made to the FLSA's White Collar Overtime Regulations?

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published the final rule revising the “white collar” overtime exemption regulations on May 18, 2016. This publication was the result of a process that began in March 2014 when President Obama directed the Secretary of Labor to review and “modernize” the current overtime regulations. In the final rule, the DOL estimates that the changes will impact 4.2 million white collar workers.

Top 5 Takeaways From Webinar on Final DOL Overtime Exemption Rule

Thank you to those who attended today’s webinar, “New DOL Overtime Exemption Rules – What You Really Need to Know Now.” We hope that everyone enjoyed the presentation and learned information that will assist in getting your organization ready for compliance.

Should we really be this panicked about the DOL overtime regs? Probably not.

By now, everyone is aware that on May 18, 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued its final rule updating the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime regulations. (Defining and Delimiting the Exemptions or Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales and Computer Employees.) Since then, there have been dozens of helpful articles, analyses, explanations, and in-person and electronic trainings to explain the rule. Panic is rampant, as employers attempt to understand the change to the regulations. But stay calm – it’s not that complicated.

How Rising Minimum Wages Will Tie Employers’ Hands on New Overtime Rules

The increase in state and local minimum wages will limit the range of responses employers will have available to comply with the new Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime rules.

New Minimum Salary Rule Holds Surprises for Employers – and They're Not All Bad

After more than two years of publicity and tremendous speculation surrounding what the new overtime regulations of the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") would look like after President Obama directed the Secretary of Labor to "modernize and streamline" them, the final version of the rule is finally here – and now the work really begins for employers. By now, we’re all familiar with the reasons behind the changes (but if you’re not, you can see our article here that links back to three earlier articles on the topic). So, let’s get to the nitty gritty of the actual changes to the overtime rule and what they mean for you.

Retail and Hospitality Employers Grapple With the DOL's Final FLSA Part 541 Regulations

For over a year, retail and hospitality employers have been anxiously awaiting the issuance of the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) final overtime regulations—regulations which many had predicted would impact retail and hospitality employers more than most. Among their biggest fears was that the DOL would make changes to the duties test, increase the salary minimum to the highest level contemplated, and simultaneously disallow inclusion of bonuses to meet the salary minimum. Luckily, the DOL decided not to include any of those proposed changes in the final regulations. However, the changes that retail and hospitality employers will be required to implement by December 1, 2016 are expected to impact retail and hospitality businesses in a profound and negative way. According to David French, senior vice president for government relations at the National Retail Federation, a major industry group representing retailers and chain restaurants, “DOL’s new overtime rules are a massive failure. They are a failure of the regulatory process. They are a failure to listen. And, most of all, they are a failure to face reality.”

Department of Labor Issues Final Rule on White Collar Exemptions

On May 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued its final rule raising the minimum salary threshold for the white collar exemptions from $23,660 to $47,476 annually. The final rule becomes effective on December 1, 2016. The DOL predicts that this change will extend overtime pay to over four million workers who presently are ineligible.

eLABORate: Breaking Down the DOL's Final Rule Expanding Overtime Eligibility

Today the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued its much-anticipated final rule updating the regulations applicable to white collar exemptions. The changes set forth in the final rule go into effect December 1, 2016. The DOL estimates that, absent employer action, the change will entitle more than 4 million white collar workers currently classified as exempt to overtime eligibility.

Storm Clouds and Silver Linings for Employers: An Analysis of the DOL’s Final FLSA Part 541 Regulations

The minimum salary threshold to qualify for the executive, administrative, and professional exemptions to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) will more than double on December 1, 2016, from $23,660 per year to $47,476 per year. This is the most notable—but not the only – change to the FLSA exemption requirements under the final Part 541regulations that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released today. Another noteworthy provision in the final Part 541 rule is one to automatically adjust this salary amount every three years beginning on January 1, 2020.

DOL's New Overtime Rule: Ready or Not, Here It Comes

The U.S. Department of Labor has issued its Final Rule setting forth a new salary threshold for the white collar exemption to the minimum wage and overtime requirement of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Effective December 1, 2016, the standard salary threshold for the white collar exemption will increase from $455 per week ($23,660 per year) to $913 per week ($47,476 per year), making an estimated 4.2 million American workers eligible for overtime when they work more than 40 hours in any work week. The DOL predicts that this change will result in more than $1.2 billion in additional wages paid to employees each year.

Labor Department Announces Final Rule Amending Overtime Regulations for ‘White Collar’ Workers

The U.S. Department of Labor has released its long-awaited Final Rule updating regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act governing overtime exemptions for executive, administrative, and professional employees, commonly known as the “white collar exemptions” or “EAP exemptions.” The Final Rule is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on May 23, 2016.

USDOL Releases Details On Exemption Revisions

At long last, the U.S. Labor Department has disclosed the details of its final revised regulations defining the executive, administrative, professional, "outside salesman", and derivative exemptions under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's Section 13(a)(1).

New Rules Announced: $47,476 Minimum Salary, Effective 12/1/2016

Late yesterday the White House and Department of Labor released key details of the new FLSA overtime exemption rules for white collar workers. The final rules themselves have just been released this morning. We are still digesting 500-plus page final rules, but the key points are as follows:

FLSA Overtime Rule to Take Effect December 1, Salary Minimum Will Be $47,476

The minimum salary for many overtime-exempt employees will roughly double from $23,660 to $47,476 under new Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations that will take effect December 1.

DOL’s Final Overtime Rule Is Released

Today, the Obama administration and Secretary of Labor Perez announced the publication of the Department of Labor's final rule updating the overtime regulations under the FLSA. The final rule increases the minimum salary to qualify for the white-collar exemptions from $455 per week to $913 per week ($47,476 annually). This is slightly less than the increase to $50,440 the DOL had earlier proposed. Under the final rule, the minimum salary to qualify for the FLSA's highly compensated employee exemption will rise from $100,000 to $134,004 (higher than had earlier been proposed by the DOL). These salary thresholds are further subject to automatic increases every three years, beginning January 1, 2020. Notably, under the new rules, employers may use non-discretionary bonuses and incentive payments (including commissions) that are paid quarterly or more frequently to the employee, to satisfy up to 10% of the minimum salary threshold. The new rule further amends the regulations to provide as follows: "If by the last pay period of the quarter the sum of the employee’s weekly salary plus nondiscretionary bonus, incentive, and commission payments received does not equal 13 times the weekly salary amount required by § 541.600(a), the employer may make one final payment sufficient to achieve the required level no later than the next pay period after the end of the quarter. Any such final payment made after the end of the 13-week period may count only toward the prior quarter’s salary amount and not toward the salary amount in the quarter it was paid." The effective date of the final rule (when employers must comply with the new salary thresholds for exempt employees) is December 1, 2016. The final rule does not include any changes to the duties tests, despite the DOL having solicited input on whether such changes should be made. California employers should note that the new minimum salary threshold for exempt status under the FLSA is now even higher than the exempt salary threshold under California law (currently $41,600, increasing to $43,680 on January 1, 2017). California employers will have to ensure that their exempt employees meet the higher salary threshold under the FLSA, while also meeting California's stricter duties test (which requires an employee to spend more than 50% of his or her time on exempt duties). Additionally, it is not clear whether California will adopt the new federal regulation allowing employers to count non-discretionary bonuses and incentive payments toward satisfying the minimum salary threshold. Currently, there is no such provision under California law. Finally, employers are reminded that California, unlike the FLSA, does not recognize a "highly compensated employee exemption" that allows an employer to treat an employee as exempt based solely on the employee's compensation level and without regard to whether the employee spends more than 50 percent of his or her time on exempt duties. Employers should review their exempt classifications to ensure that employees meet the new minimum salary threshold. Employers may need to increase salary to retain exempt status or reclassify employees to non-exempt if their salary is below the new threshold.

The DOL's New Final Overtime Rule Is Likely To Be Released on Wednesday

The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division delivered its proposed final revisions to the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA’s) Part 541 overtime regulations to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) two months ago. Reports have now emerged that the final overtime rule will be released to the public on Wednesday, May 18, 2016.

Details of New Overtime Exemption Rules Begin To Emerge

Bloomberg BNA is reporting (subscription required) that according to a “source familiar with the situation,” the DOL’s new overtime exemption rules will take effect on December 1. The new minimum salary for exempt executive, administrative and professional employees will be $913 per week or $47,476 per year. That’s still more than double the current $455 per week, but less than the original proposal which would have boosted the minimum to a projected $970 per week for 2016, or about $50,440 per year.

DOL Announces Salary Threshold

News outlets are reporting that the new salary basis rule will take effect on December 1, 2016, and require a salary of $47,476 per year ($913/week). Reports also indicate that the new rule will require an update of the salary threshold every three years, as opposed to annual increases. This effective date provides employers a longer period to analyze and comply with the new rule than previously anticipated, as prior reports had indicated the rule might take effect as early as 60 days after publication.

Counting Bonuses Toward the New FLSA Salary Level: Much Ado About Nothing or Radical Break From the Past?

To qualify for the executive, administrative, and professional exemptions from the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), usually an employee must pass each of three tests:

The New DOL White Collar Exemption Regulations, Reclassification and Messaging

By now, most employers are aware that new DOL regulations concerning white collar exemptions to the Fair Labor Standards Act are imminent. The DOL’s final regulations may introduce sweeping changes that will affect employers and employees nationwide, possibly allowing as few as 60 days to comply. Littler shareholders Rich Black and Josh Waxman discuss the potential new regulations and the importance of internal communications and messaging associated with the new regulations and any resulting reclassification.

OIRA’s Review of the Final Overtime Regs Draws to a Close: Will It Include a Provision to Increase the Salary Automatically?

As the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) of the Office of Management and Budget concludes its review of the proposed final overtime regulations, the issuance of new regulations defining and delimiting the executive, administrative, professional, outside sales, and computer employee exemptions by the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) are imminent. As of Thursday, May 12, 2016, OIRA had conducted some 51 meetings with interested stakeholders including businesses, business and employer associations, employee advocates, institutions of higher learning, and a variety of nonprofit interests. The general consensus continues to be that the final Part 541 rules will dramatically increase the salary level required for exemption by at least doubling the current salary of $455 per week or $23,660 per year. The most recent suggestion is that the new salary threshold for exemption may be around $47,000 per year.

Littler Principal Tammy McCutchen Highlights the Flaws in the DOL's Proposed Overtime Rules to Senate Small Business Committee

With publication of the Department of Labor's final overtime rule imminent, Littler Principal Tammy McCutchen testified before the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship on May 11, 2016, about how the proposed changes will disproportionately and negatively impact small businesses and nonprofit entities. McCutchen (who was the DOL's Wage and Hour Administrator from 2001 to 2004 and oversaw the last amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act's overtime rules), fielded questions about the DOL's proposed 113% increase in the minimum salary level triggering the "white collar" exemption, possible automatic increases to this level, and the rulemaking process itself.

Major Changes To The "White Collar Exemptions" Are Coming Any Day Now - Are You Ready?

Employers take notice – the federal Department of Labor (“DOL”) is working on a rule change which will significantly affect employees’ exemption from minimum wage and overtime requirements. The new rule is expected to more than double the minimum salary level required for the “white collar” exemptions to apply. This will likely mean increased costs for employers.

Can We Have Both Exempt and Non-Exempt Employees With The Same Job Title?

As employers try to figure out how to cope with the coming increase in the minimum salary for the executive, administrative and professional employees, some find themselves with job classifications where the salary scale straddles the new line between exempt and non-exempt. Can employers in this situation categorize employees whose compensation falls below the line as non-exempt, while treating those with the same job title but with higher salaries as exempt?

Is the DOL’s Final Rule Only Days Away?

The wait is nearly over to find out what the Department of Labor’s final rule revising white collar overtime exemption regulations will require. In this podcast, Littler shareholder, Tammy McCutchen, Esq., discusses the likelihood of different changes, as well as the potential timing of the Final Rule and its impact on employers. Tammy explores the following frequently asked questions:

Will The New Minimum Salary Be Pro-Rated for Part-Time Exempt Employees?

No.

"White Collar" Exemption Evaluation

It has been more than two years since President Obama directed the U.S. Labor Department to "propose revisions to modernize and streamline" the regulatory definitions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's Section 13(a)(1) executive, administrative, professional, outside-sales, and derivative exemptions.

Retailers Share Struggles and Strategies in Preparing for Overtime Changes

The proposed changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) overtime rules were a hot topic on the minds of retailers at the National Retail Federation’s Committee on Employment Law meeting, which was held on April 21–22, 2016. At the conference, Elizabeth S. Washko, Office Managing Shareholder of Ogletree Deakins’ Nashville office, moderated a panel discussion on what retail companies are doing now to prepare for the coming changes to the FLSA’s overtime regulations. On the panel with Washko were in-house counsel from four major retailers with operations throughout the United States, representing both brick-and-mortar, as well as online, retailers. Representatives from other retailers in the audience also shared their concerns and tactics. During the lively panel discussion, the presenters fielded the following questions from the moderator and shared the struggles they face as well as their strategies to handle the forthcoming regulations:

HR Intel: Uber-Anxiety over Employee Classification and Overtime

With the public release of the new Department of Labor rule regarding employee classification and overtime around the corner, there is a lot of uncertainty out there in the HR world. Some of the uncertainty focuses on the size of the impact – just how much will our payroll change if this goes into effect? But the primary source of uncertainty seems to be whether the DOL’s “final rule” will actually become final. We’ve heard quite a bit about the new (supposedly) “final” rule, but the process by which it becomes finalized is fairly cryptic.

Countdown to the Final Overtime Rule: The Clock Is Ticking on Your Current Exemptions

On March 15, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division delivered its proposed final revisions to the Fair Labor Standards Act’s Part 541 overtime regulations to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Until then, the assumption was that the final revisions to the overtime regulations would be published in July of 2016—namely because, in November of 2015, the DOL issued its Fall 2015 Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, which included a statement indicating that the DOL expected to publish the final rule in July.

Salary Threshold To Be Approximately $900?

According to Bloomberg BNA, reports are that the new minimum salary for the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's Section 13(a)(1) "white collar" exemptions will annualize to "about" $47,000.

Ready For The Looming Exemption Changes?

The publication date for the U.S. Labor Department's revised federal Fair Labor Standards Act's Section 13(a)(1) "white collar" exemption definitions remains uncertain. But a growing consensus is that they are likely to be released within the next four weeks or so.

Classification Headaches? XpertHR Has the Remedy

It is often said that “good things come to those who wait.” However, when it comes to wage and hour compliance, it is becoming increasingly clear the time to act is now. In fact, waiting could put an employer in the undesirable position of drawing attention to itself in an arena where regulators and plaintiffs’ lawyers have never been more eager to pounce on mistakes – no matter how inadvertent – regarding how a company hires, engages and pays those performing services for them.

Fourth Circuit Holds Insurance Fraud Investigators are Not Exempt from Overtime Pay, Creating Circuit Split

Disagreeing with a sister circuit, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has held that insurance fraud investigators were misclassified as exempt from overtime pay under the administrative exemption of the Fair Labor Standards Act, signaling that it will construe the exemption narrowly. Calderon v. GEICO General Insurance Co., 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 22546 (4th Cir. 2015).

"The Online Exemption Checklist Says . . ."

Coming changes in at least some of the U.S. Labor Department's definitions for the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's Section 13(a)(1) "white collar" exemptions are leading employers to evaluate whether employees they treat as exempt meet all of the duties-related requirements.

Wynn Marketing Executive Host Is Exempt Administrative Employee Due To Exercise of Discretion

Earlier this week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued an unpublished decision affirming summary judgment in favor of Wynn Las Vegas with respect to overtime claims asserted by a Slot Marketing Executive Host. Dannenbring v. Wynn Las Vegas, LLC, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 5715 (9th Cir. Nev. Mar. 28, 2016).

Get Ready: USDOL Sends Final White Collar Exemption Rule to OMB – Could be Published in 30 to 60 Days

Executive Summary: On Tuesday, March 15th, the US Department of Labor (DOL) sent to the White House's Office of Management and Budget (OMB) its Final Rule revising the White Collar Exemption Regulations, which will likely expand overtime eligibility for millions of workers. Typically, the OMB review takes anywhere from 30 to 60 days. Therefore, the Final Rule could be published at any time in the next couple of months.

DOL's White Collar Overtime Rule Advances

Despite significant concern from some lawmakers and the business community, the Department of Labor sent its final rule revising white collar overtime exemption regulations to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on Monday. OMB review is the last step in the regulatory process before publication in the Federal Register. The average review period typically lasts four to six weeks, which could mean the final rule will be published this spring, as opposed to around Labor Day, the target date many Hill watchers had assumed.

Update - DOL's Final White Collar Exemption Rule Could Be Published Earlier Than July 2016

As discussed in our February 17 Alert, http://www.fordharrison.com/usdol-says-final-rule-will-be-published-in-july-2016-and-be-effective-within-60-days, employers should be prepared for implementation of the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) Final Rule revising its White Collar Exemption Regulations. While it appeared from comments made at the American Bar Association's (ABA) Midwinter Meeting of the Federal Labor Standards Legislation Committee that the Final Rule should be published in July 2016, DOL Solicitor of Labor M. Patricia Smith later clarified that the Final Rule could be published in or before July and will take effect at least 60 days later.

DOL Says Final Rule Will Be Published in July 2016 and Be Effective Within 60 Days

During today's session of the 2016 American Bar Association's (ABA) Midwinter Meeting of the Federal Labor Standards Legislation Committee, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Solicitor of Labor M. Patricia Smith announced that the DOL's Final Rule regarding the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) White Collar Exemption Regulations will be published in July 2016, with an effective date of 60 days later. This timeline is consistent with the DOL's semi-annual regulatory agenda released late last year, which also proposed a July 2016 Final Rule timetable.

Exemption Regulations Update: Probable July Release

Reports are that U.S. Solicitor of Labor M. Patricia Smith said again today that the U.S. Labor Department's revised regulatory definitions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's Section 13(a)(1) exemptions will be released in July.

eLABORate: ABA Panel Discussion Provides Insight Into The Department of Labor's Proposed Rule on the FLSA's White Collar Exemptions

On November 5, 2015, at the American Bar Association’s Ninth Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference (“Conference”), the U.S. Department of Labor’s (“the Department”) Solicitor (i.e., lead litigation attorney), M. Patricia Smith, participated in a panel discussion with attorneys representing employers (Dennis McClelland of Phelps Dunbar and Elizabeth Lawrence of Honeywell International Inc.) and employees (Gregory McGillivary and Laura Ho), to address the Department’s plans to finish revising the Department’s regulations on the “white collar” exemptions to the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (“FLSA”) overtime pay provisions. The white collar exemptions generally permit employers to pay certain employees on a salary, as opposed to hourly, basis, without having to pay overtime. To take advantage of the exemptions, the employer typically must show that the employee is paid at least a certain threshold salary (“the salary basis test”) and has a primary duty that meets certain requirements set forth in Department regulations (the “duties test”). The duties test is qualitative, in that it evaluates what the most important duty of the employee is, as opposed to relying on a purely numerical threshold.

When Will The Exemption Changes Occur?

One of the most-pressing questions for employers at the moment is when the U.S. Labor Department will finalize changes in its definitions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's Section 13(a)(1) exemptions.

Proposed Rule Gets 264,000 Comments

Last week, we reminded you that the public comment period on the DOL’s proposed changes to the FLSA white collar exemptions was going to end on Friday, September 4, 2015, and the DOL was not going to extend this comment period despite requests to do so. True to its word, the public comment period came and went without an extension from the DOL.

On Second Thought, Court Holds Underwriters Qualify For Administrative Exemption

Applicability of the technical FLSA exemptions can sometimes turn on subtle distinctions, a frustrating proposition for FLSA litigants. A new opinion highlights these subtleties, as, on a motion for reconsideration made ahead of a bench trial, a court reversed its earlier ruling denying summary judgment to defendant bank as to the applicability of the administrative exemption to the bank’s underwriters, and granted summary judgment in defendant’s favor. McKeen-Chaplin v. Provident Sav. Bank, FSB, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106245 (E.D. Cal. Aug. 12, 2015).

Evaluating USDOL's Proposals: Avoid Dangerous Assumptions

Employers are of course continuing to evaluate the impact of the U.S. Labor Department's proposed increase in the minimum dollar amount for the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's Section 13(a)(1) exemptions' salary requirement.

Salaried No More? Government to Announce $50,400 Exemption Threshold

We have previously written about President Obama’s plan to modernize regulations governing the executive, administrative, and professional exemptions (“White Collar” exemptions) from minimum wage and overtime. Last year, President Obama signed a Presidential Memorandum instructing the Department of Labor “to propose revisions to modernize and streamline the existing overtime regulations.” The DOL’s proposal was originally expected in November 2014, but was delayed until 2015. A key part of this overhaul was expected to be an increase of the minimum amount of money an employee must earn to be eligible for salaried exempt (from overtime) status. In a blog post written by President Obama on the Huffington Post in late June, he finally revealed the extent of this increased threshold: from roughly $23,600 to more than double – $50,400!

Exemption Comments Already Being Filed

Nearly 1,600 comments have already been posted in response to the U.S. Labor Department's proposals regarding the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's Section 13(a)(1) exemptions. Not surprisingly, there is great concern about the magnitude of the salary increase USDOL has proposed, both the $921 level that is actually on the table and the $970 figure that USDOL has projected might be in the final regulations.

FLSA Guru Tammy McCutchen Discusses How to Get Ready for New Overtime Regulations

In a recent webinar hosted by XpertHR, one of the leading authorities on the Fair Labor Standards Act offered some advice to help HR prepare for what’s in store.

It’s Time to Work Overtime on Your Comments to the DOL

Time is not on your side if you are an employer who has yet to address the U. S. Department of Labor’s proposed revisions to the Fair Labor Standards Act’s white collar overtime regulations.

Webinar Follow-Up: New DOL Overtime Exemption Rules and Independent Contractor Guidance

Thanks to all of our clients and friends for such a great turnout at today’s webinar on the new DOL overtime exemption rules and the Administrator’s Interpretation on independent contractors. In case you missed the webinar, or if you just want to go back and review the materials and recording, you can find both an audio recording of the program and the program materials at http://www.franczek.com/news-events-675.html.

Littler's Tammy McCutchen Testifies that the DOL's Approach in Proposed Overtime Rule is "Unprecedented"

The U.S. Department of Labor's methodology and minimum salary threshold set forth in its proposed revisions to the Fair Labor Standards Act's "white collar" exemptions are "unprecedented in the FLSA’s 77-year history," explained Littler Principal Tammy McCutchen during a Subcommittee on Workforce Protections hearing. The DOL's Wage and Hour Division released its proposed rule last month. Under the terms of the proposal, the agency would set the minimum salary threshold used to separate exempt from non-exempt employees at the 40th percentile of the salary earned by all non-hourly paid employees, and create a mechanism for annual automatic increases. By the year 2016, when a final rule is expected to take effect, this calculation would result in a minimum salary threshold of $970 per week, or $50,440 per year.

Wage and Hour Basics Series: The "Fee Basis" and the Proposed FLSA Regulations

As we have discussed in the past, to be eligible for one of the “white collar” exemptions (executive, administrative, or professional) or as a highly compensated employee (HCE),

Second Circuit Holds That Contract Attorney Properly Alleged Misclassification Claim

Reversing Judge Richard J. Sullivan’s 2014 decision, a panel of the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled today that a contract attorney who provided document review services on a multi-district litigation for a law firm through a third party staffing firm colorably alleged an FLSA violation based on his assertion that the document review services he provided did not constitute legal work. Lola, et al. v. Skadden, Arps, et ano., 2d Cir., No. 14-3845, 07/23/2015.

Overtime Rule Could Harm Employers, Witnesses Warn Lawmakers

The US Department of Labor's proposal to roughly double the minimum salary for most employees exempt from the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) will have many unintended consequences, experts told Congress today.

Answering Your Questions about the New FLSA Regulations [Wage & Hour FAQ]

As you undoubtedly know by now, the Department of Labor’s Wage & Hour Division (WHD) finally announced its long-promised proposal to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Regulations and, in particular, those governing the “white collar” exemption for executive, administrative, and professional employees. For our comprehensive discussion of the changes in the DOL’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), see our previous coverage on What Changed, What Didn't, What's Next for Employers.

U.S. Department of Labor Proposes Regulatory Changes that Would Greatly Expand the Number of Non-Exempt Employees

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued its long anticipated proposal to update the regulations on overtime exemptions for certain “white collar” employees.Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, workers are entitled to overtime pay of 1 ½ times their regular rate of pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek, but there are exemptions for executive, administrative, and professional employees (among other exemptions). In order to qualify for one of these three exemptions, an employee must meet both a “duties” test and a “salary” test. The new proposed regulations would modify the salary test by increasing the minimum required salary from $455/wk. ($23,660 annually) to $921 per week ($47,892 annually). The salary levels were last updated in 2004. Check out our newest HRW Alert for more information about how these regulatory changes can affect your company as well as how to submit comments to the Department of Labor. Please click this link for your copy of the full HRW Alert.

Evaluating The Impact Of USDOL's Salary Proposal

The U.S. Labor Department has of course proposed a substantial increase in the minimum salary amount required to meet the basic compensation criterion for an executive, administrative, professional, or a derivative exemption under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's Section 13(a)(1).

A Call to Action: The Comment Period on the new Proposed Overtime Regulations Begins

On Monday July 6, 2015 the Obama Administration and U.S. Department of Labor (DOL or Department) published their proposal to revise the Part 541 overtime exemption regulations in the Federal Register, beginning the required 60-day comment period. It is crucial that all employers submit thorough and thoughtful comments on not just the proposed over-100 percent increase in the minimum salary for all white collar exemptions but also on the DOL’s specific request for comments on the possible need for change in the duties test. Any new duties test rule could have a profound impact on both employees meeting the new minimum salary test and entire classes of currently exempt managerial and administrative employees who will not meet the proposed new highly compensated employee test of at least $122,148.

DOL Proposes Changes to White Collar Overtime Pay Exemptions

On July 6, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) formally proposed revisions to the executive, administrative, and professional (EAP) exemptions to the overtime pay requirement of the Fair Labor Standards Act. In addition, the Department requested comments on those proposed revisions and on other possible changes to the EAP exemptions and other white collar exemptions.

The New FLSA Regulations: The DOL's Actual Proposed Language

We have been covering the Department of Labor Wage & Hour Division’s (WHD) finally released proposal to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which was published last week. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) is lengthy, clocking in at 295 pages, nearly all of which (285+) constitute a preamble. Those 295 pages have plenty of interesting ideas, as we explained in our last post.

The DOL's Surprising Conclusion about Employers in the New FLSA Regulations

Last week, the Department of Labor’s Wage & Hour Division (WHD) finally announced its long-promised proposal to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Regulations and, in particular, those governing the “white collar” exemption for executive, administrative, and professional employees. For our comprehensive discussion of the changes in the DOL’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), see our previous coverage on What Changed, What Didn't, What's Next for Employers. Today, I want to dig a bit deeper into the DOL’s rationale set forth in the 285+ pages of preamble, and in particular one place where the DOL’s analysis left me scratching my head. The DOL concludes that the new FLSA regulations mean all of your soon-to-be-formerly exempt employees will receive a big raise—to the tune of $1.5 billion in the first year alone. Surprised? I thought so.

DOL’s Part 541 Proposal: Next Steps

Now that the Obama Administration and U.S. Department of Labor (DOL or Department) have released its proposal to revise the Part 541 overtime regulations, it is important to understand what may be next and when we can expect developments with this regulatory proposal.

DOL Publishes the Proposed Revisions to the White Collar Regulations and Sets a Deadline to Submit Comments

On July 6, 2015, the proposed rule issued by the Department of Labor to revise the “white collar” overtime exemptions was published in the Federal Register, available here. The DOL has established a 60-day period for the public to submit written comments to the proposed rule. The comments are currently due on or before September 4, 2015 (the Friday before Labor Day) and should be submitted either electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov or by mail addressed to Mary Ziegler, Director of the Division of Regulations, Legislation, and Interpretation, Wage and Hour Division, U.S. Department of Labor, Room S-3502, 200 Constitution Avenue N.W., Washington, DC 20210.

Classifying Employees as Exempt from Overtime May Become a Lot More Costly

This week, the Department of Labor announced proposed changes to the white-collar overtime exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"). If enacted, these changes will significantly impact employers. To qualify as exempt from overtime under federal law, employees currently must be paid a salary of at least $455 per week ($23,660 per year) and their "primary duty" must be executive, professional, or administrative -- as those terms are defined under federal law.

The Proposed Overtime Regulations: What They Say, What They Mean, and What To Do Now

he U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued its long-awaited proposed rule that would change the federal regulations of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) overtime provisions in a June 30, 2015 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), and the firestorm of praise and criticism has begun.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly – The Department of Labor Releases Its Proposed Update to the White-Collar Regulations

You may recall our previous alert regarding President Obama’s March 2014 memorandum that instructed the Labor Secretary to “modernize and streamline” the regulations on exemptions from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) minimum wage and overtime pay requirements and warning you about imminent changes. Today, the Department of Labor (DOL) finally released the details of the long-awaited proposed rule on these exemptions under the FLSA. This proposed rule may impact your ability to classify your workers as exempt from minimum wage and overtime.

DOL’s Proposed FLSA Regulations to Significantly Change Employers’ Overtime Obligations

On Tuesday, June 30, 2015 the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued proposed regulations which, if adopted, will significantly change employers' obligations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and could make more than five million additional employees eligible for overtime compensation. The DOL's proposed changes come in direct response to President Obama's request that the DOL simplify the overtime regulations and make overtime available to more employees. At a minimum, the proposed regulations could result in overtime pay for many more lower-level managers.

eLABORate: DOL Proposes Doubling the Salary Level to Qualify Employees as Overtime Exempt

The Department of Labor has just announced a proposed rule that would increase by more than two times the weekly salary required to treat most employees as exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime requirements.

Comment Period on New Overtime Proposal to End Early September, Say DOL Officials

In a conference call held on Wednesday morning, Labor Secretary Thomas Perez and Wage and Hour Administrator David Weil fielded questions about the recently released proposal to revise the Fair Labor Standards Act overtime regulations for white collar employees. During the call, the DOL officials discussed the new proposed salary threshold, potential changes to the duties test, and the notice-and-comment period deadline.

Proposed Regulations Published ? Salary Floor Would Be Doubled (Updated 07 02 15)

UPDATED 07 02 15: According to the Federal Register website, the proposals will be officially published this coming Monday, July 6. If they are, then comments will be due no later than Friday, September 4, 2015.

The DOL's Proposed Amendments Increase the Salary Threshold for the FLSA's White Collar Exemptions - Dramatically Expanding the Number of Employees Eligible for Overtime

Executive Summary: Today, in a 295-page report, the U.S. Department of Labor ("DOL") issued its long-awaited proposed amendments to the Fair Labor Standards Act's ("FLSA") "white collar" exemption tests for executive, administrative, and professional employees (located in 29 CFR Part 541). The DOL refrained from amending the duties portion of the tests; however, it did revise the salary basis and salary level tests. If adopted, the DOL estimates that the new regulation will eliminate the exempt status for approximately 21.4 million employees—increasing the financial and regulatory burdens on employers throughout the United States. Despite not amending the duties portion of the white collar exemptions, the DOL discussed in detail the long and short tests, which were eliminated in 2004, and suggested that it may revisit the issue.

The New FLSA Regulations: What Changed, What Didn’t, What’s Next for Employers

This morning, the Department of Labor’s Wage & Hour Division (WHD) announced its long-awaited proposal to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Regulations and, in particular, the regulations governing the “white collar” exemption for executive, administrative, and professional employees. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) is as surprising for what it includes as what it did not. This comprehensive summary outlines what changes were made in the proposed FLSA regulations, what did not change, what it means for employers, and what employers should do now in response to the DOL’s announcement.

DOL Releases Proposed Revisions to "White Collar" Overtime Exemptions

On June 30, 2015, President Obama and Secretary of Labor Perez released a 295-page Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), seeking public comments on proposed changes to the "white collar" overtime exemption regulations. The NPRM, along with a Fact Sheet and FAQs, are available on the Department of Labor's website.

DOL Proposes Momentous New Wage-Hour Regs

The anxiously awaited proposed changes in regulations defining the federal Fair Labor Standards Act’s Section 13(a)(1) executive, administrative, professional, outside-sales, and derivative exemptions have been published by the U.S. Labor Department for public consideration and comment.

The Proposed Overtime Regulations: Are Your White Collar Employees Still Exempt?

On June 30, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced its long-awaited proposed rule that would revise the regulations concerning the white collar exemption contained in section 13(a)(1) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). According to the announcement, the proposed rule would “extend overtime protections to nearly 5 million white collar workers within the first year of its implementation.”

The New FLSA Regulations: What Changed, What Didn't, What's Next for Employers

This morning, the Department of Labor’s Wage & Hour Division (WHD) announced its long-awaited proposal to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Regulations and, in particular, the regulations governing the “white collar” exemption for executive, administrative, and professional employees. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) is as surprising for what it includes as what it did not. This comprehensive summary outlines what changes were made in the proposed FLSA regulations, what did not change, what it means for employers, and what employers should do now in response to the DOL’s announcement.

Proposed USDOL Rule Would Create Millions of Newly Overtime-Eligible Employees

The United States Department of Labor (USDOL) has finally released its much-publicized and frequently delayed Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, which would update the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations concerning who is and is not eligible for overtime pay under federal law. The USDOL estimates that some 5 million “white collar” workers will become newly eligible for overtime pay should the proposed rule go into effect.

DOL Plans to Double Minimum Salary for Overtime-Exempt Employees to $50,440

The minimum salary for an employee exempt from the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) would rise to $50,440 under draft rules proposed today by the US Department of Labor (DOL).

Attorney Lawsuit over Overtime Pay

Professionals often require additional assistance handling time-consuming, but routine, tasks. This is particularly apparent in complex litigation that involves voluminous discovery and document review. Not surprisingly, document review can quickly become one of the more labor-intensive and expensive stages of the case. In order to meet this challenge, many firms will hire temporary attorneys to review the discovery for privilege and scope. Before doing so, query whether these firms consider the overtime implications of the FLSA.

Must Management Justify Treating Exempt Employees As Non-Exempt?

For years, The Big Corporation has treated its Department Supervisors as meeting all of the requirements for the executive exemption from the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's minimum-wage and overtime requirements. However, TBC's CEO has now concluded that, for a variety of reasons, it makes more business sense to treat them as non-exempt employees, including paying them by-the-hour.

Lesser Known Exemptions: The "Ministerial" Exception to the FLSA

Last week, in my post about the impact of the various iterations of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) on wage and hour law, we discussed the general rule that the FLSA does not contain blanket exceptions or exceptions for religious entities or individuals, with only a few exceptions. One potential caveat to this rule is an FLSA exception for ministers and clergy, the so-called “ministerial” exception.

Proposed FLSA Exemption Changes Still In Limbo

Employers await with bated breath the release of the U.S. Labor Department's proposed new definitions for the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's Section 13(a)(1) executive, administrative, professional, outside-sales, and derivative exemptions. Apparently, they will just have to keep waiting – for how long, the U.S. Labor Department will not say.

Supreme Court Upholds DOL's Rulemaking Procedure in Reclassifying Mortgage Loan Officers

Executive Summary: On March 9, 2015 the U.S. Supreme Court held that a federal agency is not required to engage in notice-and-comment rulemaking when it issues an interpretation of a regulation that is significantly different from its prior interpretation. In Nickols v. Mortgage Bankers Association, the Court overruled a line of cases established by the Ninth Circuit, which required administrative agencies to engage in notice-and-comment rulemaking when changing a prior administrative interpretation of an agency regulation. Although the Court's ruling specifically addresses the actions of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), it could have significant ramifications in other areas as federal agencies continue their efforts to implement the Obama Administration's aggressive employment related agenda.

FLSA Changes Could Make Many Retail Managers Non-Exempt Employees

Expectations are that the U.S. Labor Department’s proposed regulations re-defining the federal Fair Labor Standards Act‘s executive, administrative, professional, outside-sales, and derivative exemptions will be released in the next few weeks, if not within days.

FLSA Exemption Changes: A Possible "Plan B" For Retailers

Expectations are that the U.S. Labor Department's proposed regulations re-defining the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's executive, administrative, professional, outside-sales, and derivative exemptions will be released in the next few weeks, if not within days. As we have said, these provisions will probably include (i) a substantial increase in the minimum salary amount, and (ii) a significant narrowing of the duties-related requirements.

White Collar Exemptions and Why Job Descriptions are Essential

As a general rule, the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) mandates that employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage for all hours worked. It also requires that employees receive overtime pay at time and one-half the regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek. To be an exception to the general rule, or “exempt,” the employer must demonstrate that the employee falls into one of the exemptions as defined under the FLSA.

A Substantial Salary-Test Jump Is Likely

On January 28, the Economic Policy Institute announced that "noted economists and a former Secretary of Labor" had written to U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez to propose an increased salary threshold of around $960 a week (about $50,000 a year) for the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's executive, administrative, professional, and derivative exemptions. EPI's website also provides what is essentially a way to sign a petition to this effect. (It is worth noting that Heidi Shierholz, who last September advocated raising the salary level to $984 a week and who is still shown on EPI's website as a "Former EPI Economist", is currently Secretary Perez's Chief Economist.)

White Collar Exemption Changes May Increase Labor Costs

Very soon, game-changing rules regarding who qualifies for the so-called white collar exemptions from the overtime pay requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act will be issued for public review and comment by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage & Hour Division. Once finalized, these changes will affect virtually every employer in the U.S.

White Collar Exemptions: Paying Employees Wages in Equity, Rather than Cash

The saying goes that “Cash is King.” However, entrepreneurs often quickly learn (sometimes in painful ways) that it is Cash Flow that is really King. Run a quick Google search for “accounts receivable” financing or factoring to get a sense of how important that market is for businesses.

FLSA Exemptions And "Overtime Rights"

We continue to follow developments relating to President Obama's directive that the U.S. Labor Department "modernize and streamline" its regulations governing the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's Section 13(a)(1) executive, administrative, professional, and "outside salesman" exemptions. For employers, the signs remain ominous.

Senate Bill May Hint at Where White Collar Exemptions are Going

On March 13 of this year, President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum (“Memorandum”) directing the federal Department of Labor (“DOL”) to modernize regulations governing the “white collar” exemptions from minimum wage and overtime.

Department of Labor Plans To Take Next Step in White Collar Exemption Overhaul in November

Earlier this year, President Obama ordered the Secretary of Labor to overhaul the executive, administrative, and professional exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime and minimum wage requirements.

I'm an Executive, You're an Executive, We're All Executives! 8th Circuit Lowers the Bar for FLSA "Executive" Exemption

Last month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit issued an opinion that essentially watered down the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime exemption for executives. This decision perhaps makes an unwitting case for President Obama’s intended overhaul of the FLSA’s white collar exemptions that we discussed recently.

Legal Alert: President Obama Orders Changes In Overtime Regulations – What to Expect and When

Executive Summary: President Barack Obama has directed the Department of Labor to "update" and "modernize" overtime rules to expand the number of workers eligible for overtime pay.

President Seeks To Curtail FLSA "White Collar" Exemptions

President Obama has instructed the U.S. Labor Department to revise the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's so-called "white collar" exemptions in a "Presidential Memorandum" released on March 13. This effort is intended (as the New York Times put it apparently in light of a White House briefing) to "force American businesses to pay more overtime to millions of workers . . .."

Eleventh Circuit Holds "Program Manager" Satisfies FLSA’s Administrative Exemption

As most employers are aware, the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) requires that employers pay non-exempt employees overtime compensation for any hours worked over 40 in a workweek. 29 U.S.C. § 207(a)(1). In an Eleventh Circuit case decided this month, Adams v. BSI Management Systems America, Inc., 2013 WL 3722115 (11th Cir. July 17, 2013), a Supply Chain Security Program Manager who was terminated for poor performance sued her former employer alleging that she should have been paid overtime as a non-exempt employee.

Properly Prorating Salary for Exempt Employees

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you are hopefully familiar by now with the notion that exempt employees generally must be paid their full weekly salary for all workweeks in which they perform any work. There are certain limited exceptions to this rule. For example, if an exempt employee starts or ends employment mid-workweek, the employer may prorate the employee's salary accordingly. This calculation is easy fairly easy if the employer uses a weekly pay period - just take the regular weekly salary, divide by the number of days that salary usually covers (e.g., 5), and multiply by the number of days the employee was employed.

Paying On a "Salary Basis" Requires Actual Payments

As we have discussed before, to be considered an exempt executive, administrative, or professional employee, most employees must be paid on a "salary basis," meaning that they receive a fixed salary for each workweek regardless of the number of hours worked or the quality or quantity of work performed. In a ruling that at first blush seems fairly obvious, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled earlier this year that actually paying an employee's salary is a necessary condition to meeting this standard. Orton v. Johnny's Lunch Franchies, LLC.

More Store Managers Found to Meet Executive Exemption

On April 3, 2012, a federal district court in South Carolina determined that two Dollar General store managers met the executive exemption from overtime pay under the FLSA. Gooden v. Dolgencorp and Thomas v. Dolgencorp. Granting summary judgment to Dolgencorp, the court held that Gooden’s and Thomas’s primary duties were managerial in nature based upon the facts in these cases.

Does Lady Gaga Owe Assistant OT?

Imagine you are the personal assistant for the world’s most famous artist, Lady Gaga. You have the opportunity to travel the world, meet famous people and watch your boss hit the button to drop the “ball” in Times Square on New Years Eve. What could be better? Well, apparently, being paid overtime.

Decision Against Novartis Has Implications Beyond Pharmaceutical Industry.

In a major decision with possible relevance outside of the pharmaceutical industry, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Connecticut, New York, and Vermont) gave strong deference to a U.S. Labor Department legal brief and overruled a lower court in deciding that Novartis's pharmaceutical sales reps were not exempt from overtime as outside salespersons or as administrative employees under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act or applicable state laws. On the same day, the Second Circuit also summarily ruled against Schering in a similar case.

Using The Duck Test For Professional Employees.

When classifying their employees for overtime purposes under federal and state wage-hour laws, employers often rely on the equivalent of the "Duck Test": the job's title sounds professional and its duties require expertise and a high degree of skill – it sounds and looks like a professional job, and so it must qualify for the professional exemption even if most of its occupants lack advanced degrees. In other words, they assume that when a high degree of skill and years of experience are needed to perform the position's essential tasks, and the position requires either advanced education or long years of experience, the occupants can be treated as exempt professionals under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Sales Rep Falls Within FLSA’s “Administrative” Exemption Because of Independent Strategic Planning Responsibilities.

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employees who work more than 40 hours a week are entitled to overtime pay unless they fall under one of the Act’s enumerated exemptions. The 3d U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal found that a Johnson & Johnson sales representative fell within the “administrative” exemption, based upon that person’s high level of planning and foresight, along with her “exercise of discretion and independent judgment with respect to matters of significance” and, therefore, was not entitled to overtime pay.

Sales rep falls within FLSA's "administrative" exemption because of independent strategic planning responsibilities.

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employees who work more than 40 hours a week are entitled to overtime pay unless they fall under one of the Act’s enumerated exemptions. The 3d U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal found that a Johnson & Johnson sales representative fell within the “administrative” exemption, based upon that person’s high level of planning and foresight, along with her “exercise of discretion and independent judgment with respect to matters of significance” and, therefore, was not entitled to overtime pay. Smith v. Johnson & Johnson, 3d Cir., No. 09-1223, February 2, 2010.

Education Labor Letter: A Primer on the "Salary Basis" for Schools.

Anyone who has ever undertaken the task of analyzing the applicability and implications of "white collar" exemptions under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) knows that it usually requires a multi-tiered, multi-page flow chart, not to mention a great deal of patience. But there is some good news for schools: the exemption analysis for teachers is less complicated because there is no requirement to the meet the "salary basis" test under the FLSA.

When Do Managers, Assistant Managers and Supervisors Qualify as Exempt.

We wish there were an easy and certain answer to the above question, but the reality is that court decisions in this area differ in both analysis and results even given similar factual scenarios. For some time now we have been talking about the huge increase in overtime cases and other actions being filed under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and similar state wage and hour laws. No area of employment litigation has been more active recently than wage and hour litigation. In 2007 the steep increase in FLSA lawsuits filed continued as did payouts, collectively totaling over a billion dollars.