As we previously reported, this past September the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) proposed a new rule that would create a uniform approach to the way companies classify workers as independent contractors or employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). More specifically, in the proposed rule, the DOL adopted the “economic reality” test,
Today, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released its highly anticipated final revisions to the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) so-called “white collar” exemptions, the first major update to the federal overtime rules in more than a decade. Although the final rule is somewhat similar to the proposed rule published by the DOL last summer,…
Developments in wage and hour law made major waves for employers this summer. They include: (1) proposed new overtime regulations from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL); (2) an announced crackdown by the DOL on employers who engage independent contractors; (3) new federal court standards for assessing whether unpaid interns should be paid like traditional employees; and (4) a minimum wage hike for certain New York employees. For those who may have missed any of our prior reports this summer, here is a recap, with links to more in-depth analysis.
1. DOL Proposes Regulations that Dramatically Expand FLSA Overtime Eligibility
On June 30, the DOL released its highly anticipated proposed revisions to the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) overtime exemption regulations, representing the first major proposed change to federal overtime law in more than a decade.
The DOL’s proposal would more than double the minimum salary an employee must earn to even be eligible for exemption from the FLSA’s overtime pay requirements – from just under $24,000/year ($455/week) to $50,440/year ($970/week). This new salary threshold corresponds to the 40th percentile of earnings for all full-time U.S. salaried workers. In addition, the proposed regulations would allow the DOL to automatically raise the salary threshold annually, without the need for any further, formal rulemaking procedures, thereby enabling the DOL to keep pace with 40th percentile statistics as they may change going forward. The only welcome surprise for employers in the DOL’s proposal is that it does not seek to modify the “duties” tests associated with the FLSA “white collar” overtime exemption categories, although some speculate that the DOL may roll out revamped “duties” tests at a later date.
Before the DOL’s proposed regulations become final, they are subject to a public comment period (open now) and finalization. Whatever iteration of the regulations ultimately is adopted, the final regulations are not likely to take effect before mid-2016.
On May 27, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published updated model Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) notices and certification forms. Copies of the updated forms, which should be used through May 31, 2018, are available on the DOL’s website.
The most notable change to the forms is their reference to the Genetic…