On June 27, the Department of Labor (DOL) moved closer to reevaluating an Obama-era proposal changing the white collar exemption tests for executive, administrative and professional employees under the FLSA. DOL has sent a Request for Information (RFI) to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Once that RFI is published, there will be an opportunity for the public to comment.
As part of the final rule, the salary level under which employees qualify for overtime pay would have increased from $455 per week ($23,360 annually) to an estimated $913 per week ($47,476 annually). In addition, the rule would have provided for automatic updates to the threshold every three years without seeking public comment.
The changes were scheduled to take effect on December 1, 2016, but on November 22 a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction halting the rule from taking effect. DOL previously received more than 270,000 comments regarding the proposed changes to overtime eligibility and pay.
DOL is expected to propose a new overtime rule, consistent with comments that Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta made during his confirmation hearings earlier this year. There is speculation that DOL will ultimately increase the salary threshold for overtime eligibility to a level in the low-to-mid $30,000 range.