November 2, 2017

Mark Knoth offers insight on “white collar” overtime exemption under Trump administration

A: On May 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a final rule change to “white collar” overtime exemptions. This change proposed doubling the minimum salary of white collar employees before they’re entitled to receive time and a half for any hours worked over 40 during the workweek. Businesses were given a reprieve when a Texas court granted a nationwide preliminary injunction, enjoining the implementation of the final rule, which was to be effective Dec. 1, 2016.

On Aug. 31, 2017, the Texas court that enjoined the Obama rule issued a further ruling finding that the Obama DOL had exceeded its authority. In its ruling, the Texas court invalidated the entire revision to the “white collar” exemption.

Trump Secretary of Labor Andrew Accosta announced plans to revise again the so-called “white collar” overtime exemption. On July 26, 2017, the DOL published a request for information seeking comments on what changes, if any, should be made. As of Sept. 25, 2017, the DOL had received more than 165,000 comments.

Before any changes to the rule are made, the DOL must review each comment. All indications are that no rule change will be forthcoming this year, but businesses are advised to monitor the situation. Companies that have already implemented changes should exercise caution before simply rolling them back.