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Nov 18, 2015

By Eric B. Meyer

Is there a delay in the new U.S. Department of Labor Overtime rules?

Lauren Weber of The Wall Street Journal reported that Solicitor of Labor, Patricia Smith, told an audience at the American Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Conference in Philadelphia that the Department of Labor’s proposed changes to the overtime rules may not take effect until close to the end of 2016.

Most notably, the DOL proposes that the minimum weekly salary to qualify for an exemption under the Fair Labor Standards Act be set in 2016 to about $970 a week ($50,440 a year).

I don’t know if it’s something in the water, but I’ve been getting a lot of recent Fair Labor Standards Act inquiries from clients.

You know what that means? Waiting until the new overtime rules to take effect before addressing other existing FLSA issues is a bad idea.

Why? Because, as I’ve written before, as wage and hour issues generally garner more attention, it increases the likelihood that your employees may divine FLSA issues in your workplace.

Consider a wage and hour audit — now

For starters:

  • Ensure that non-exempt employees receive minimum wage and overtime when they work more than 40 hours in a work week.
  • Double check employee classifications to confirm that exempt employees truly are exempt (and vice-versa). Remember, the burden is on the employer to prove an exemption (as opposed to an employee having to establish that she is non-exempt)
  • Do you have independent contractors? Or are they employees whom you’ve simply labeled independent contractors? Now, may be a good time to vet that.

This was originally published on Eric B. Meyer’s blog, The Employer Handbook.