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DOL Overtime Overhaul Sought

The U.S. Department of Labor says it now wants to revamp overtime compensation rules that were adopted last year during the Obama administration.

Those overtime regulations DOL adopted, but which did not go into effect because of a court stay, would have broadly expanded the number of employees who are eligible for overtime pay.

The rule would have set the annual salary limit for which an employee could be considered exempt from overtime at about $47,476, almost double the current salary limit of $24,000.

This change would have required employers to pay overtime to many more people who work in management roles, business groups argued. The Obama administration estimated that the change would make four million more people eligible for overtime pay.

Earlier this year the new Trump administration backed away from defending the controversial rule. Since last year the rule has been under an injunction issued by a Texas court dealing with a legal challenge to the rule brought by employer groups.

Trump Administration lawyers had sought and obtained a delay in the court case after Trump ran into difficulties getting a new Secretary of Labor nominated and put in place.

During his Senate confirmation hearing,. Labor Secretary Alex Acosta said that he would consider raising the maximum salary level from the current $24,000 to more than $30,000 in order to keep up with inflation.

On June 30, DOL told the Texas court it is seeking public input on setting a new salary threshold, and asked the court to only address whether the department can legally change the salary limit.

Recently, the House passed and Senate took up a bill that would allow employees the choice of receiving 1.5 hours of comp time for each hour worked over 40 in a week, but this is seen having little chance of being enacted (AA, 6-30-17, P. 3).

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