On March 7, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released its long-awaited Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to update the minimum salary threshold under the Fair Labor Standards Act – an update that would make approximately a million more workers eligible for overtime pay. The DOL released the details on its website ahead of the Federal Register’s expected publication of the regulation next week.
Under currently-enforced federal law, employees with a salary below $455 per week ($23,660 annually) must be paid overtime if they work more than 40 hours per week. This federally-mandated salary level was set in 2004.
The DOL’s new proposal would boost the salary threshold under federal law from $455 to $679 per week ($35,308 annually). Employees who make less than $35,308 per year would be automatically eligible for overtime pay for all hours worked beyond 40 a week.
This proposal is less than the Obama-era salary proposal of $47,476 annually. The Obama-era proposal was enjoined by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas on November 22, 2016. As of November 6, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has held an appeal in abeyance pending further rulemaking regarding a revised salary threshold.
The public can submit comments electronically for 60 days after publication in the Federal Register by visiting www.regulations.gov. At a minimum, employers should consider assessing their workforce to determine how many workers will be affected by the proposed new salary threshold.