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DOL Proposes to Expand Overtime Protection

The Department of Labor has proposed a rule (available here) that would significantly increase the minimum salary threshold required to qualify for the FLSA’s so-called “white collar” exemptions for executive, administrative, and professional employees. The finalized rule is expected to take effect in 2016.

The current salary threshold, set in 2004, is $455 per week ($23,660 per year). DOL proposes to increase the threshold to an amount equal to the 40th percentile of earnings for full-time salaried workers.  The new threshold is projected to be $970 per week ($50,440 per year) in 2016, more than double the current threshold.

DOL estimates that the proposal would bring nearly 4.7 million currently-exempt employees within the scope of overtime protection. Critics of the proposal warn that an increased overtime threshold would result in increased business costs, a rise in the use of part-time entry-level workers, and reduced opportunities for employees reclassified as non-exempt.

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About this Author

Lindsey Burke Employment Law Attorney at Covington Burling Law Firm

Lindsay Burke co-chairs the firm’s employment practice group and regularly advises U.S., international, and multinational employers on employee management issues and international HR compliance. Her U.S. practice includes advice pertaining to harassment, discrimination, leave, whistleblower, wage and hour, trade secret, and non-competition issues arising under federal and state laws, and she frequently partners with white collar colleagues to conduct internal workplace culture assessments and audits in the wake of the #MeToo movement. Her international practice focuses...