- The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) will host public listening sessions to gather opinions about the "Overtime Rule," potential new regulations implementing the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The sessions will be held in five cities throughout September: Atlanta; Seattle; Kansas City, Missouri; Denver; and Providence, Rhode Island.
- The listening sessions are intended to elicit opinions about several topics regarding the proposal, including:
- The appropriate salary threshold for overtime eligibility.
- The benefits and costs accompanying an increased threshold for employees and employers.
- The methodology used to determine an updated salary level.
- The rate at which DOL updates the standard salary level and total-annual-compensation level for highly compensated employees.
- DOL's most recent regulatory agenda says the proposed rule will be issued in January 2019, which will likely include another opportunity to submit comments.
Employers concerned about the overtime rule can make sure DOL knows exactly why they're worried, so long as they can journey out to one of the listening session sites, of course.
But whether or not they get to offer their opinions about a future proposal, many employers still have reason to worry. During a conference presentation earlier this year, Tammy McCutchen, former DOL Wage and Hour Division administrator, told attendees that it's possible they haven't seen the end of the Obama-era overtime rule, which was enjoined by a federal judge. That proposal would have more than doubled the current salary threshold to $47,476 — meaning anyone paid less would be eligible for overtime.
Based on DOL's latest agenda, McCutchen, now principal at Littler Mendelson, seems to have correctly predicted that DOL won't make its self-declared October 2018 deadline for the proposed rule. That delay, coupled with a few other potential developments, could eventually put the $47,476 threshold into effect, with little notice. She told employers they shouldn't panic just yet, but she recommended that businesses dig out the plans they made in 2016 for the original rule. "If you had plans that you didn’t implement, I hope you didn't throw them away," she said.