The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has not forgotten about the proposed overtime regulation overhaul, though it’s been a bit sleepy on this issue this past year since its July 26 2017 Request for Information. On August 28, 2018, the DOL announced it will hold five “listening sessions” (none in Minnesota- the closest being Kansas City, MO). These sessions are open to the public and scheduled between September 7 and 24, 2018. Notably for those of us in Minnesota who are nowhere close to attending one, the DOL is asking for input on the following questions:
- What is the appropriate salary level (or range of salary levels) above which the overtime exemptions for bona fide executive, administrative, or professional employees may apply? Why?
- What benefits and costs to employees and employers might accompany an increased salary level? How would an increased salary level affect real wages (e.g. increasing overtime pay for employees who current salaries are below a new level but above the current threshold)? Could an increased salary level reduce litigation costs by reducing the number of employees whose exemption status is unclear? Could this additional certainty produce other benefits for employees and employers?
- What is the best methodology to determine an updated salary level? Should the update derive from wage growth, cost-of-living increases, actual wages paid to employees, or some other measure?
- Should the Department more regularly update the standard salary level and the total-annual-compensation level for highly compensated employees? If so, how should these updates be made? How frequently should updates occur? What benefits, if any, could result from more frequent updates?
Realistically, this indicates it is going to be a long while yet before we see any changes to the overtime regulations, I do believe.