Capitol Correspondence - 09.16.19

White House Finishes Review of DOL Overtime Rule

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ANCOR is sharing this item by Politico Pro as an update on this previous article because of its relevance to our members in their function as employers.

OVERTIME: DOL’s final overtime rule wrapped up review at the White House budget office Friday, so the regulation will likely be released very soon. The proposed version of the rule would set the salary ceiling under which virtually all workers must be paid time-and-a-half whenever their workweek exceeds 40 hours at $35,308 (up from the current $23,660.)

The proposal would extend overtime eligibility to 1.1 million additional workers, but that’s significantly fewer than the 4.2 million who would have become eligible under an Obama-era version of the rule that a federal judge in Texas blocked shortly before it was to take effect in December 2016. The Trump administration proposal directs DOL to update the threshold at its discretion every four years, dropping a provision in the Obama administration rule that set a formula for the threshold to rise automatically with inflation.

The final rule may have some changes from the proposed version based on public comments. The agency will also have to respond to advocacy groups and Democrats’ written concerns that the rule doesn’t go far enough to protect workers as the one that was previously on the books.

Some 16 state attorneys general urged DOL not to move forward on the proposal arguing that it would make difficult to enforce state labor laws. They said raising the ceiling only to $35,308 would “expose millions of workers” to being misclassified as exempt from overtime protections. The AGs from New York, California, D.C., Maryland, and others states said that’s because significant flaws in the “duties test” make it comparatively easy for an employer to claim a low-wage worker’s job is sufficiently managerial to deny that worker overtime pay.

We’ll see what DOL says in the final rule.