Amid much fanfare, the U.S. Labor Department in 2004 rewrote the rules that determine which employees are exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act (not eligible for overtime) and which are nonexempt (eligible for overtime). The goal was to ease confusion and lawsuits. But, so far, that hasn’t happened.
Overtime-related lawsuits are on the rise. “We thought the (new regulation) would fix that,” said Jack McKeon, a U.S. Labor Department deputy administrator, at a Society for Human Resource conference last month. “It really hasn’t.”