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Changes to Overtime Rule Appear Inevitable

July 31, 2017

By Liani J. Reeves

Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published an official request for information (RFI), seeking input on alternatives to the 2016 overtime rule proposed by the former administration.

The 2016 overtime rule increased the salary levels to be considered exempt from overtime. Those levels had been in place since 2004. The rule was immediately challenged by businesses and states and has been tied up in litigation. The rule was blocked from taking effect and certain aspects of the rule are still being litigated.

Meanwhile, the DOL has indicated that it intends to promulgate a new rule and is currently gathering input on different alternatives for calculating overtime exemptions, noting that the DOL “is aware of stakeholder concerns that the standard salary level set in the 2016 Final Rule was too high.”

The DOL seeks comments on whether the standard salary level set in that rule effectively identifies employees who may be exempt, whether a different salary level would more appropriately identify such employees, the basis for setting a different salary level, and why a different salary level would be more appropriate or effective. The DOL also posed specific questions and alternatives for changes to the rule.

It is apparent that the current administration intends to roll back the former rule, but it will replace it with something else. Employers who are interested in providing input into the new rule are encouraged to submit comments.

Comments are due September 25, 2017. The ROI and instructions for submitting comments can be viewed here.

For additional history on the former administration’s rule and the litigation challenging the rule, see Bullard’s Alerts here and here.
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