Secretary of Labor Directed to Update Federal Overtime Rules
Posted in Staff Infection
Secretary of Labor Directed to Update Federal Overtime Rules

In a brief memorandum recently issued to the Secretary of Labor, President Obama directed the Department of Labor (DOL) to update federal overtime rules. As noted in the memorandum, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provides basic rights and wage protections for American workers, including Federal minimum wage and overtime. Most workers covered under the FLSA must receive overtime pay of at least 1.5 times their regular pay rate for hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week (Alaska, California and Colorado have established additional requirements, including daily overtime).The memo asserts that executive, administrative, and professional employee exemptions to the FLSA's overtime requirement have not kept up with our modern economy and, therefore “millions of Americans lack the protections of overtime and even the right to the minimum wage.” Based on this assertion, President Obama directs the DOL to “propose revisions to modernize and streamline the existing overtime regulations” and to “consider how the regulations could be revised to update existing protections consistent with the intent of the [FLSA]; address the changing nature of the workplace; and simplify the regulations to make them easier for both workers and businesses to understand and apply.” The full text of the memorandum can be read here.

While the memorandum does not provide any further details on the specific revisions the President would like to see, the New York Times has speculated that changes could include raising the minimum salary requirements for the exemptions which are currently set at $455 per week. Other possible revisions include a closer examination of fast food managers, loan officers and other specific careers, as well as alteration of the “primary duty” test to ensure that exempt employees perform a minimum percentage of exempt work in order to qualify for the overtime exemption. The New York Times article can be read here.

This blog is presented under protest by the law firm of Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP.  It is essentially the random thoughts and opinions of someone who lives in the trenches of the war that often is employment law–he/she may well be a little shell-shocked.  So if you are thinking “woohoo, I just landed some free legal advice that will fix all my problems!”, think again.  This is commentary, people, a sketchy overview of some current legal issue with a dose of humor, but commentary nonetheless; as if Dennis Miller were a lawyer…and still mildly amusing.  No legal advice here; you would have to pay real US currency for that (unless you are my mom, and even then there are limits).  But feel free to contact us with your questions and comments—who knows, we might even answer you.  And if you want to spread this stuff around, feel free to do so, but please keep it in its present form (‘cause you can’t mess with this kind of poetry).  Big news: Copyright 2014.  All rights reserved; yep, all of them.

If you have any questions about this article, contact the writer directly, assuming he or she was brave enough to attach their name to it.  If you have any questions regarding this blog or your life in general, contact Kelly O. Scott, Esq., commander in chief of this blog and Head Honcho (official legal title) of ECJ’s Employment Law Department, at (310) 281-6348.

Tags: DOL, Overtime

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