April 20, 2004
Department of Labor Publishes Revised Overtime Rules
More than a year after first proposing to re-vamp the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime rules and regulations, the Department of Labor is publishing its proposed new rules, which are presently scheduled to go into effect (without the need for Congressional approval) on August 23, 2004.
The proposed revisions will clarify and alter the rules governing classes of employees "exempt" from overtime pay requirements, including the "white collar" exemtions (executive, administrative and professional employees), as well as other classes of employees. In addition, there will be a new minimum salary limitation in order to qualify for an exemption ($23,600 per year, or $455 per week), and employees making less must be paid overtime regardless of the nature of their duties.
There will also be a $100,000 "highly compensated employee" exemption which will impact whether highly compensated employees can earn overtime, again regardless of the actual duties performed.
The new rules are being closely studied by various groups, and the debate as to their effect will almost certainly intensify in coming weeks.
For more information, readers can go to the U.S. Department of Labor's web-site and look for the "FairPay Overtime Initiative" links (www.dol.gov/esa/regs/compliance/whd/fairpay/main.htm).