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Perez won’t commit to timeline for revising FLSA’s overtime rules

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez has refused to place a deadline on rewriting the rules that govern overtime pay for exempt employees.

On March 13, President Obama ordered the Labor Department to “update and modernize” the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) executive, administrative and professional exemptions to make more managers eligible for overtime pay.

Speaking five days later at the Society for Human Resource Management’s Employment Law and Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C., Perez said, “I learned long ago never to give a precise answer to questions about how long a process will take. We will take the time necessary to produce a proposed rule that is fully informed. We will have a proposed rule out when we have done our due diligence.”

Perez said the exempt overtime rules revision was long overdue.

“Overtime stands for a pretty simple proposition: that if you have to work more, you should be paid more,” he said.

“There are cases in which people are spending 1% of their time doing management and the rest of their time doing basic work like stocking shelves. Yet they’re still making $455 a week and they’re classified as managers.

“We’re just beginning this process,” Perez said. “This is an important issue for workers, and it’s important to employers. That’s why I plan to begin an ambitious program of outreach to the business community. I have heard from a lot of employers that the current system is not a model of clarity. We will look at those concerns.”

Perez said the FLSA revision process would include seeking advice from state labor departments.

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