A year ago, Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez refused to put a timeline on his agency’s efforts to rewrite the rules that govern overtime pay for. He was wise not to commit.
On March 13, 2014, President Obama ordered the Labor Department to “update and modernize” the Fair Labor Standards Act’s executive, administrative and professional exemptions to make more managers eligible for overtime pay.
The long-whispered, unofficial goal had been a February 2015 release of new rules for determining which salaried executive, administrative and professional employees are exempt—not eligible for overtime pay—and which are nonexempt—that is, eligible for overtime if they work more than 40 hours per week.
February came and went, and Labor Department officials are tight-lipped about when the rules will be released and what’s taking so long.
Rumors now put a release date anywhere from a few weeks to several months away.
The stakes are high. Currently, executive, administrative and professional employees are exempt if they earn more than $455 per week—a little over $23,500 per year. The new rules will likely raise that bar, making as many as 3.1 million more low-wage supervisors eligible for overtime pay.