According to a report from Bloomberg BNA, unnamed DOL staffers have stated that the salary threshold in the hotly anticipated FLSA exemption rules will be about $47,000 per year, down slightly from the $50,440 level suggested by the proposed rules published last summer. This is  not an official announcement, so while the statement may well

In a move that should surprise precisely no onecapitol-hill-building who has been paying attention to current U.S. politics, GOP lawmakers in the U.S. House and Senate introduced legislation to block the U.S. DOL’s anticipated overtime exemption rules, just two days after the DOL sent the final rule to the Office of Management and Budget. OMB review is typically the final stage before publication of a new rule.

The legislation, dubbed the “Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act,” would:

  • Void the DOL’s new rules;
  • Allow the DOL to publish updated rules only after conducting a detailed analysis of the rules’ impact on small business, non-profit and public employers;
  • Bar the DOL from adopting rules that provide for automatic adjustments of the minimum salary level without going through a formal notice and comment rulemaking process;
  • Require any proposed changes to the “duties” tests for the overtime exemptions to be published and subject to public notice and comment.


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In July, we wrote about the Department of Labor’s proposed changes to the regulations governing the white collar exemptions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The current regulations governing these exemptions—executive, administrative, and professional—include a salary basis test by which to determine if an employee meets one of these exemptions. The salary basis test currently

US Department of Labor logo.jpgRecently, we told you that President Obama had issued a Presidential Memorandum to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) instructing its Secretary to update regulations regarding overtime protection for workers under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the federal law that establishes minimum wage and overtime pay requirements. The regulations have not been revised at

In an unexpected move, the Obama administration officially announced today that it will issue a Presidential Memorandum to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) instructing its Secretary to update regulations regarding overtime protection for workers under the FLSA. Any changes to the regulation would be the first since 2004, when the Bush administration increased the

iStock_000004431244XSmall.jpgQ. Our employees consider themselves “professionals” and don’t want to be treated as hourly workers. If our employees agree to it, can we still treat them as “exempt” even if they don’t meet all of the requirements under the FLSA or state law? 

A. In a word, no. This question comes up more often than you might think. In some cases, particular industries have developed a practice of treating certain categories of employees as “salaried” and assuming that they are exempt. In others, employees would simply rather be “salaried” or “exempt” because this suggests a higher status than an “hourly” position, or because they prefer not to have to track their time. 

Unfortunately for employers, an employee’s choice generally had nothing to do with whether or not the employee can legitimately be classified as “exempt” from overtime requirements under state and federal law. With very few exceptions, the rights provided by the Fair Labor Standards Act and its state equivalents can’t be waived or modified by an agreement with the employee. 

So how can employers manage employee expectations without running afoul of the law? 


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