Department of Labor planning new overtime rule

By Michael Zinser, The Zinser Law Firm, P.C.

Michael Zinser

The U.S. Department of Labor recently finished a series of listening sessions for interested parties at which it gathered opinions about a new overtime rule.  It is expected to issue a Notice of Proposed Rule Making ( NPRM) in March 2019. 

The proposed rule will no doubt raise the salary threshold in order to be considered a salaried exempt executive, administrative or professional employee.  That current threshold is $23,660 or $455 a week.  That salary threshold has been in place since 2004.

You will remember that the Obama administration attempted to raise the salary threshold to $47,476 a year.  That particular rule was struck down and enjoined nationwide by a federal judge in Texas.

Based upon comments by Secretary of Labor Acosta during his confirmation hearings, expect the Department of Labor to propose a new rule with a new salary threshold in the $32,000-$33,000 range.  This threshold would be more like adjusting the current threshold for inflation since 2004.  It would make far fewer new workers eligible for overtime than would have been the case under the rule proposed during the Obama administration.  A salary threshold at this level is not as likely to generate huge opposition.

If the NPRM occurs in March of 2019, then there will be a comment period after that.  Then the Department of Labor will take time to consider all of the comments.  Prediction: Do not expect to see a new overtime rule in effect before 2020.

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