FordHarrison LLP • March 19, 2019
Executive Summary: The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued its proposed overtime regulations to replace the Obama administration’s (enjoined) overtime rule. The DOL raised the minimum salary threshold requirement for workers to qualify for the Fair Labor Standards Act’s white collar exemptions to $35,308 per year (or $679 per week). The proposed rule raises the threshold from $23,660 per year (or $455 per week). For highly compensated employees, the DOL raised the salary threshold from $100,000 to $134,000. The proposed regulation would make more than one million additional workers eligible for overtime. The DOL also proposed regular increases to the threshold every four years following public comment.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • March 19, 2019
A prime or general contractor may be held jointly and severally liable for any violations, including wage and hour violations, by its subcontractors if the contractor is found to be a joint employer with the subcontractor under applicable federal or state law.
Awarding bonuses to certain employees who participate in an optional volunteer program does not mean that an employer must pay them for the time they spend volunteering, according to a new opinion letter from the US Department of Labor (DOL).
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • March 14, 2019
On March 7, 2019, the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor published the long-awaited Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to revise the “white collar” overtime exemption regulations to $35,308. Issued under the Fair Labor Standards Act, these regulations implement exemptions from the overtime pay requirements for executive, administrative, professional, and certain other employees. If adopted, the proposed rule would replace the final rule issued in 2016. Although comments on the NPRM are due 60 days after official publication in the Federal Register, the time to prepare for change is now.
Nexsen Pruet • March 14, 2019
Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would raise the minimum salary threshold required for workers to qualify for the overtime exemptions for executive, administrative and professional workers under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The proposal increases the threshold for the white-collar exemptions to $35,308 per year, or $679 per week, up about $12,000 from the current level of $23,660 per year ($455 per week). If approved, the DOL estimates the new rule would take effect in January 2020, and extend overtime protections to more than 1 million workers who are not currently eligible for overtime.
Ogletree Deakins • March 14, 2019
On March 14, 2019, the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued two new opinion letters addressing compliance under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The first opinion letter addresses wage and recordkeeping requirements for residential janitors. The second opinion letter addresses the compensability of time spent by employees participating in an employer-sponsored community service program. This opinion letter (FLSA 2019-2) addresses whether time spent by an employee participating in an employer’s voluntary charitable program constitutes hours worked under the FLSA.
Hirsch Roberts Weinstein LLP • March 13, 2019
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). To qualify for one of these three exemptions, an employee must meet both a “duties” test and a “salary” test. Under current salary test regulations, which have been in place since 2004, most employees must generally be paid a salary of at least $455 per week. ($23,660 annually). In 2016, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued regulations raising that salary threshold to $921 per week ($47,892 annually). A federal district court held those regulations to be invalid.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • March 12, 2019
On February 28, 2019, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued an important decision involving whether contract workers in the oil patch were entitled to overtime. In William Parrish, et al. v. Premier Directional Drilling, L.P., No. 17-511089, the Fifth Circuit reversed a trial court decision and rendered judgment in favor of Premier Directional Drilling, L.P. (“Premier”). Following a fact-intensive inquiry, the Fifth Circuit concluded that the directional drillers were not employees and not entitled to overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).
Jones Walker • March 12, 2019
The US Department of Labor (DOL) has finally proposed a new rule to update the pay thresholds necessary to satisfy certain “white collar” overtime exemption regulations after its prior rule was rejected by a federal court in 2016. On March 7, 2019, the agency announced the proposed rule, which would increase the minimum salary from $455 weekly ($23,660 annually) to $679 weekly ($35,308 annually) for workers whose duties qualify them for the executive, administrative, or professional exemptions from overtime. The agency also proposes to increase the minimum compensation to qualify for the highly-compensated employee exemption from $100,000 to $147,414 annually. While the proposed new minimum salary is less than the 2016 proposal, the new highly-compensated employee threshold is higher than the prior proposal. The agency estimates the minimum salary increase would make more than one million existing workers eligible for overtime and the increased threshold for highly-compensated employees would make another 200,000 employees eligible for overtime.
The minimum annual salary for most employees exempt from the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) would increase from its current level of $23,660 to $35,308 under draft rules proposed by the US Department of Labor (DOL).