Labor Department seeks input for overtime rule

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U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta (Photo: Department of Labor Alyson Fligg)
U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta (Photo: Department of Labor Alyson Fligg)

The Department of Labor is accepting input as it prepares to propose a new rule related to circumstances under which certain workers would be entitled to overtime pay.

In a request for information (PDF) expected to be published in the Federal Register on Wednesday, the department asks for feedback on:

  • the salary level test,
  • the duties test,
  • varying costs of living across the United States,
  • the inclusion of non-discretionary bonuses and incentive payments to satisfy a portion of the salary level,
  • the salary test for highly compensated employees and
  • automatic updating of the salary level tests.

The comment period will be open for 60 days.

As explained in the request for information, the Fair Labor Standards Act generally requires employers to pay their workers at least the federal minimum wage (currently $7.25 an hour) for all hours worked as well as overtime pay that equals at least 1.5 times the employee's regular rate of pay for any hours worked over 40 in a workweek. Certain executive, administrative and professional employees, however, are exempt from minimum wage and overtime protection. Under the proposed rule, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta could change who would be exempt and how the salary threshold would be updated.

A rule finalized in May 2016 during the Obama administration would have doubled the salary threshold — from $23,660 to $47,476 per year — under which most salaried workers would be guaranteed overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours per week, and that threshold would have been updated automatically every three years. The rule was opposed by several associations representing senior living operators and faced several legal challenges. June 30, the Labor Department under President Trump said it planned to develop its own rule rather than continue a legal battle to enact changes decided under the former administration.

July 26 update: Click here for the request for information posted on the Federal Register website.

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