The Way Ahead on New FLSA regulations | DCR Workforce Blog

The Way Ahead on New FLSA regulations

labor lawThe negative reaction faced by the Democrats in the recent mid-term elections throws the fate of many existing and proposed regulations into question. Amongst them, proposed changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations now hang in the balance. The 75 year old FLSA was previously revised in 1983. Further revisions must be considered in light of the number of states that have already adopted much higher minimum wages and differing duties for exempting overtime pay. There is no doubt that this law needs to be evaluated to fit its alignment with the realities of the employment situation in today’s America, which is more focused on services and less on manufacturing.

The proposed changes to the FLSA regulations deal with:

  • Defining and Delimiting the Exemptions for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales, and Computer Employees through changes to the overtime rules. The current rule establishes the 40-hour workweek, but the compensation limits have eroded over the years, leaving millions of salaried workers without the protections of overtime, or even minimum wages. Over the past forty years, the threshold set by overtime regulations has been revised only twice, leaving millions of low-paid, salaried workers ineligible for overtime compensation. It was expected that the threshold would be revised to $1000 from $455 per week – which keeps a person earning $23,660 in a year ineligible for overtime. –The current salary thresholds is way below what a person in a white collar job in an executive, administrative or professional role would be earning today.
  • Protecting the minimum wages and overtime payments to many home care workers for services rendered – provided the service takes up at least 80% of the worker’s time. They would be eligible for such payments even if they report directly to a family which engaged them or a third party agency which hired them and deputed them to work with a client of their choice.
  • There is also a proposal to simplify the highly complex and confusing language of the rules in order to discourage wasteful litigation over the implementation of these regulations.

If and when these changes are made, the Department of Labor (DOL) would have to await public comment over a period of 30 days, prepare a final draft and get it approved by the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. This process would take from 60 to 120 days.

Assuming that the current government sticks to its resolve to enact some or all of these changes, will the protracted approval process be complete before the 2016 elections? If so, we can then expect a rash of legal challenges. There is a long wait ahead for anyone who is looking forward to the changes happening sooner than later.

The content on this blog is for informational purposes only and cannot be construed as specific legal advice or as a substitute for competent legal advice. They reflect the opinions of DCR Workforce and may not reflect the opinions of any individual attorney. Do contact an attorney for advice specific to your issue or problem.
Lalita is a people/project manager with extensive experience in operations, HCM and training and development across industries like banking, education, business consulting, BPO and information technology. She believes in a dynamic approach to life and learning as change is the only constant.