Fair Labor Standards Act Update

November 2017

Just days before new regulations concerning the "white collar" overtime exemptions to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) were set to become law, a federal judge halted the intended actions of the US Department of Labor (DOL). On November 22, 2016, a Texas federal judge issued a preliminary nationwide injunction on all employers blocking the DOL from implementing the new exemptions rule, known as the FLSA overtime rule. That proposed rule would have raised the minimum salary required for most white-collar exemptions from approximately $23,660 to $47,476 on an annualized basis.

On December 1, 2016, the Department of Justice, on behalf of the DOL, filed a notice with the US Circuit Court of Appeals to appeal the preliminary injunction of the Texas federal judge. Opening briefs and corresponding responses were due by March 2, 2017, but that date has been extended numerous times.

On July 27, 2017, the Department of Labor submitted a request for information (RFI) on the overtime rule. According to DOL, the RFI is an opportunity for the public to provide information that will aid the department in formulating a proposal to revise these regulations that define and delimit exemptions from the FLSA's minimum wage and overtime requirements for certain employees. The RFI solicits feedback on questions related to the salary level test, the duties test, varying cost-of-living across different parts of the US, inclusion of non-discretionary bonuses and incentive payments to satisfy a portion of the salary level, the salary test for highly compensated employees, and automatic updating of the salary level tests. Written comments were to be submitted within a 60-day window after the July 27, 2017, RFI.

The DOL has indicated that it will not advocate for a specific salary level set yet and wants more time to determine what the salary level should be.

Since the November 2016 election, the Trump Administration has indicated that will not be implementing the FLSA overtime rule that was proposed in the previous administration.

***FLSA background and information provided by the MRA and the DOL***

Ralph Forsht is the new government relations consultant for the American Camp Association (ACA). Forsht oversees ACA's work on federal public policy. For nearly 20 years, Forsht has been a dedicated advocate for children and families. Previously, Forsht served as senior vice president at First Focus Campaign for Children, a bipartisan children's advocacy organization. At First Focus Campaign for Children, Forsht worked on federal family tax provisions, children's healthcare and child poverty. Forsht was also a senior vice president at America's Promise, a national nonprofit dedicated to helping children and communities. At America's Promise, Forsht led the team of advocates championing public policy priorities at the federal, state and local levels. Forsht began his career on the staff the US Senate Budget Committee.

Ralph Forsht contact info:
ralphforsht@gmail.com | 703.944.2739