Authored by Karen E. Milner
Feb 19, 2016
The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Solicitor M. Patricia Smith recently announced that the change in the Fair Labor Standards Act’s regulations requiring most “white collar workers” to receive a weekly salary of at least $970 per week will be issued in final form some time in July, 2016 with an effective date 60 days after publication.
About 300,000 comments were received by the DOL after the proposed regulations were issued on June 30, 2015. Additionally, on Feb. 9, 2016, a letter signed by more than 100 members of Congress was sent to Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez asking that the rule be reconsidered, stating that the “one-size-fits-all rule would adversely impact all employers, especially small businesses” and expressing the view that the new rule will adversely affect employees as well.
Despite this letter, employers should ready themselves to either pay the increased weekly salary amount to workers classified as an exempt professional, executive or administrative employee or to consider reclassifying specific employees to non-exempt positions, especially in situations where the $970 weekly salary is a substantial increase in the employee’s current pay rate.