The Department of Labor (DOL) on Tuesday called for public comments on potential changes to the Obama administration’s overtime rule.
The overtime rule finalized by DOL last year would have doubled (to $47,476) the salary threshold under which virtually all workers are guaranteed overtime pay if they work more than 40 hours per week. The rule was set to take effect last December, but ASAE and other business interests as well as 21 states challenged the rule and a federal judge in Texas issued a preliminary injunction blocking the rule. The Obama administration appealed, leaving the Trump administration to decide whether to continue the appeal or drop it.
Earlier this month, the Labor Department made clear that it does not agree with the salary threshold set by the Obama administration, but defended its right to set a salary threshold on who qualifies for overtime pay in the future.
The request for public comment published in the Federal Register is the first step in the agency’s plan to revise overtime regulations. The agency has asked for input on whether the current threshold of $23,660 should be updated for inflation, and whether there should be multiple standard salary thresholds based on employer size, region of the country and other factors. The agency also asked employers to explain how they prepared for the rule to take effect and whether there are unique challenges for small businesses that should be taken into account. Comments are due by Sept. 25.
ASAE will draft comments on how potential changes to overtime eligibility would impact associations and other nonprofit employers, and will share those as a model for others as soon as they are ready. ASAE has emphasized in the past that it is not against increasing the overtime salary threshold, but that creating a “one-size-fits-all” salary threshold for overtime eligibility across the country – inconsiderate of cost of living differences – would not be workable for many employers and, in fact, would harm many affected employees as well.