What's Going On With Federal Overtime Laws? Check Out Our Legislation Timeline

Joseph Patterson | November 16, 2017
Wondering what happened to the 2016 overtime rule? Want to brush up on your knowledge of state and federal overtime laws? Join our free webinar, in conjunction with CPA Academy, on November 30 at 10 a.m. (More details at the bottom of this timeline!)For anyone looking for a little background on the changes proposed in 2016 and what’s happening now, here’s a brief summary and timeline of what’s been happening with federal overtime laws over the last two years.  

May 2016

The Obama administration announces big changes to the FLSA overtime rule (the first since 2004). These changes would give around 4 million salaried employees a chance to earn overtime for the first time, and it would affect any salaried employee making around $47,000 or less. If employers did not want to pay this overtime, they would either have to give the employees a raise or allow them to take more time off.  

Summer/Fall 2016

Employers with salaried employees affected by this announcement scramble to figure out how much this will cost. Many bring in new systems, such as time tracking, and consult attorneys to help them prepare for the changes. The deadline given for employers to make the changes is December 1, 2016. Many make changes before this date.  

November 22, 2016

A federal judge in Texas blocks the new overtime rule at the last minute, causing chaos. Some employers stand by the changes they’ve made to employee salaries, while others decide to roll them back. Everyone is left wondering what the future holds for the FLSA overtime rule. Will it survive under a Trump administration?  

July 2017

The Department of Labor, now led by a new Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, indicates that the FLSA overtime rule might still be changed — even if the 2016 proposal doesn't survive — by publishing a new Request for Information (RFI) in the Federal Register. The RFI asks how much salaried employees should earn before they are exempt from overtime.  

August 31, 2017

In Texas, the federal judge confirms his preliminary decision made on November 22. The judge says the Department of Labor overstepped its authority with the announcement of the changes to the FLSA overtime rule. It looks like the 2016 proposal is finally dead and buried, unless the Department of Labor launches an appeal.  

October 31, 2017

The Department of Labor challenges the Texas judge’s decision, giving another strong indication it still wants to change the FLSA overtime rule. We have yet to hear from the DOL exactly what changes it wants, but there have been rumors the new threshold at which salaried workers will be excluded from overtime will be $33,000. The current level is $23,000 and change.  If you have salaried employees who could be affected by the DOL’s decision, you won’t want to miss our free webinar, Overtime Law: Federal and Local Rules That Impact Wages. Here’s what’s on the agenda: Find out which states have their own overtime regulations and which override federal law (e.g., California, Nevada, and Illinois). Plus, you’ll learn:
  • Which states are only subject to federal overtime laws.
  • Which workers are eligible for overtime pay.
  • What the difference is between exempt and nonexempt employees.
  • What the FLSA overtime rules currently say.
  • More about the changes proposed in 2016, what’s happening now, and what’s expected to happen next.
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