Wyatt Employment Law Report

DOL Releases Much Awaited Proposed Rule Raising Salary Minimum to $35,308 – Employers Have 60 Days to Comment

By Sharon Gold

On Thursday, March 7, 2019, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) released the much anticipated Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) that significantly raises the minimum salary for exempt workers from $23,660 to $35,308.  It is estimated that if this rule is finalized, more than a million workers will either become eligible for overtime pay or have their salaries raised to meet the minimum.

Employers will recall that in late 2016, a mere few days before the salary minimum was supposed to be raised to $47,476, a federal judge in Texas blocked the rule.  Since that time, the DOL issued a Request for Information about the salary rule in 2017.  More than 200,000 employers and individuals commented.  In addition, the DOL had six in-person listening sessions in connection with the Request for Information.  The DOL indicated Continue reading

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21 States (Including Kentucky) and Several Businesses File Lawsuits Challenging DOL Final Rule Raising Salary for Exempt Workers

By Sharon L. Gold

money-roll-694667smallThis week, Kentucky, alongside 20 other states, sued the Department of Labor in a Texas Federal Court.  The states’ Complaint, 4:16-cv-00731, attacks the DOL’s Final Rule that raises the salary minimum for exempt workers.  That same day, numerous businesses and the Chamber of Commerce filed a similar Complaint, 4:16-cv-732, challenging the regulation.

The states contend that the Final Rule infringes upon state sovereignty and federalism by dictating the wages that a state must pay its employees.  The states contend that “as a result of the new overtime rules and the accompanying damage to state budgets, states will be forced to eliminate or alter employment relationships and cut or reduce services and programs.  Left unchecked, DOL’s salary basis test and compensation levels will wreck state budgets.”  States’ Complaint at 84.  As to Kentucky, the Complaint alleges that Continue reading

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DOL Releases Final Rule Raising Minimum Salary for Exempt Workers, Doesn’t Change Duties Tests

By Sharon L. Gold

Speculation about when the DOL would release the final rule raising the minimum salary for exempt workers has ended.  Today, the DOL released the final rule that will be effective December 1, 2016.  The final rule is available here.

The proposed rule was quite controversial, eliciting over 270,000 comments, mostly from employers stating the proposed raises were too extreme.  The Final Rule makes several changes from the proposed rule, including adjusting the proposed amount of the salary requirements, exchanging annual increases for increases every three years, leaving the duties tests unchanged, and allowing bonuses and nondiscretionary bonuses to account for some of the salary minimums.

The DOL estimates that approximately 22.5 million wage and salary workers in the U.S. will be affected by the Final Rule, with 4.2 million workers who are currently exempt becoming eligible for overtime protections if their employers do not raise the salaries.  Final Rule at pg. 9-10.  The DOL estimates that Continue reading