The Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor recently held public listening sessions to gather views on the Part 541 white collar exemption regulations, often referred to as the “Overtime Rule.” Issued under the Fair Labor Standards Act, these regulations implement exemptions from overtime pay requirements for executive, administrative, professional, and certain other employees. The Department plans to update the Overtime Rule and held the listening sessions in order to hear the views and ideas of participants on possible revisions to the regulations.
Sessions were held in Atlanta, GA, Seattle, WA, Kansas City, MO, Denver, CO, Providence, RI, and Washington DC.
At the listening sessions the Department sought public input on questions such as:
- What is the appropriate salary level (or range of salary levels) above which the overtime exemptions for bona fide executive, administrative, or professional employees may apply?
- What benefits and costs to employees and employers might accompany an increased salary level?
- How would an increased salary level affect real wages (e.g., increasing overtime pay for employees whose current salaries are below a new level but above the current threshold)?
- Could an increased salary level reduce litigation costs by reducing the number of employees whose exemption status is unclear?
- Could this additional certainty produce other benefits for employees and employers?
- What is the best methodology to determine an updated salary level?
- Should the update derive from wage growth, cost-of-living increases, actual wages paid to employees, or some other measure?
- Should the Department more regularly update the standard salary level and the total-annual-compensation level for highly compensated employees?
- If so, how should these updates be made?
- How frequently should updates occur?
- What benefits, if any, could result from more frequent updates?
Transcripts and attendee lists for the listening sessions are posted in the RFI docket at regulations.gov.
- White Collar Exemption Regulations: Public Listening Session (10/03/2018 Federal Register)
- White Collar Exemption Regulations: Public Listening Sessions (8/28/2018 Federal Register)
- U.S. Department of Labor to Host Listening Sessions About Proposed Overtime Rule (Press release, 8/27/18)