May 21 is the deadline to submit comments about the Labor Department’s proposed overtime pay rule, the department announced Friday, the same day the rule was published in the Federal Register.
Under the proposal, executive, administrative, professional and certain other employees who earn less than $679 per week ($35,308 annually) would be eligible for overtime pay if they work more than 40 hours in a week. The current threshold, in effect since 2004, is $455 per week ($23,660 annually).
Also Friday, National Labor Relations Board Chairman John Ring released an update on the joint-employer standard decision process.
In response to an inquiry from Reps. Robert “Bobby” Scott (D-VA) and Frederica S. Wilson (D-FL), Ring wrote in a letter that the board has received an “outstanding” response of almost 29,000 comments on its proposed joint-employer standard, from “interested organizations, unions, academics, business owners and individual workers all over the United States.”
“This level of participation confirms the importance of the board’s rulemaking on the joint-employer standard, and we look forward to giving full consideration to all comments received,” he wrote.
In September, the NLRB proposed a rule that would define an employer as a joint employer of another company’s workers only if it “possesses and exercises substantial, direct and immediate control over the essential terms and conditions of employment and has done so in a manner that is not limited and routine.”
The proposed rule would be a change from a rule established by the NLRB during President Obama’s administration, which said that a company could be considered a joint employer of another company’s workers if it possesses the right to control, or actually exercises control, whether direct or indirect, over employees’ terms and conditions of employment.
The NLRB accepted comments on the proposed rule until Jan. 28 and accepted comments on the comments until Feb. 11.
The board is contracting with a temporary employment agency to sort and code the comments, and then the board’s labor-law professionals will perform the first substantive review of the comments for the board, Ring said.
Scott, chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor, and Wilson, chairwoman of the House Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions, were under the mistaken impression that the temporary workers would be conducting the substantive review, he said.