Labor Department Reopens White-Collar Salary Exemption for Comments
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has published a Request for Information (RFI) in the Federal Register seeking comments from the public about how the white-collar regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act should be updated. The Obama Administration had sought to revise the same regulations in 2016, essentially doubling the overtime exemption and making many more people eligible to earn overtime pay, but that effort was blocked by a federal judge late last year. You can read the Council’s previous report on this issue here.
Under current law, employees working in a “bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity” are not eligible for overtime pay. Federal regulations determine which employees fall within those categories. In most cases, employees will be considered exempt from overtime if (1) the employee is paid on a salary basis (“salary basis test”); (2) the employee receives at least a minimum specified salary amount (“salary level test”) which is currently set at $455/week; and (3) the employee's job primarily involves executive, administrative, or professional duties as defined by the regulations (“duties test”).
The questions posed by the Labor Department in the new Request for Information give the public the opportunity to weigh in on whether and how those tests should be changed in future DOL rulemaking. The deadline for submitting comments to the DOL is September 25, 2017.