Pinning down a publication date for the DOL’s final revisions to the white-collar exemption rules has proven difficult for anyone outside of the agency’s headquarters. Sometimes, the answer seems to elude even those inside the Frances Perkins Building. From statements from the Solicitor last Fall that the rule would be out in “late 2016” (subscription) to the Department’s regulatory agenda setting a target date of July 2016 to Secretary of Labor Perez’s confidence that the rule would be out by Spring of 2016, we’ve seen a fairly wide range of expectations out of DOL.
At a recent meeting of the New York State Bar Association, we got yet another, although this one is in line with the Department’s official target: the Solicitor of Labor told a group of attorneys that the overtime rule would be issued in early July.
The Department proposed to increase the salary level required for exemption to $50,440, and the salary required for the highly compensated employee exemption to $125,000. The Department also proposed to automatically increase the salary on a regular basis, based on inflation or other factors. DOL inquired into a number of issues related to the duties tests, including the propriety of changing the standards for determining an employee’s “primary duty,” but did not afford the regulated community the opportunity to comment on any specific proposal.
DOL received nearly 300,000 comments in response to its proposal. It is in the process of reviewing those comments and finalizing the rule. Once DOL has finalized the rule and publishes it in the Federal Register, employers likely will have between 60 and 120 days to come into compliance with the new standards. Given the short timeframe, employers should be starting to review their potentially impacted positions now.