On September 24, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published a highly anticipated final rule that updates the salary thresholds necessary to qualify for overtime exemptions – often referred to as the “salary level test” – under the Fair Labor Standards Act (the 2019 Final Rule). This rule will replace the prior final rule published on May 23, 2016 (the 2016 Final Rule) under the Obama administration, which was enjoined in 2016 and remains the subject of an abated appeal pending before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
The DOL published the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) underlying the new rule on March 22, 2019. In response, the DOL received more than 116,000 comments. Based on those comments, the DOL made several changes that are reflected in the 2019 Final Rule.