The Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division has pushed back publication of its overtime rule proposal from May to August. 

The rule would set a salary threshold that employees would use to determine which employees are eligible to receive overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours per week. The current threshold, enacted during the Trump administration, became effective in January 2020, when the weekly minimum salary for overtime exemptions rose from $455 per week ($23,660 per year) to $684 per week ($35,568 per year).

Employers have waited a long time to see how the federal government wants to update the rule.

The Labor Department first formally listed the publication of a new overtime final rule in its regulatory agenda in fall 2021, according to the National Review, and then spent several months holding virtual town halls to gather initial input from stakeholders for a proposed rule that was expected to be published in spring 2022.

Some speculate that the delay may be due, in part, to the vacancy for the position of secretary of labor. Acting Secretary Julie Su has been nominated for the post. 

Speaking at the SHRM Annual Conference & Expo 2023 in Las Vegas, Robert Boonin, an attorney with Dykema in Ann Arbor, MI, told attendees that he “thought the DOL may be planning more aggressive changes with the new rule than in its previous revisions.”

Additionally, the overtime rule is said to be facing some legal challenges that might compound the delay of publication. For example, according to SHRM, courts might question the Labor Department’s authority to set a salary level threshold to be exempt.

Separately, the Labor Department also has delayed publishing a final rule on independent contractor status. The rule now is expected to be published in October, five months later than previously planned.