What to Expect for Overtime Eligibility Under the New President

Posted by: Chris

Regulation of employment by the federal government will tend to change under Democrat and Republican leadership. Democratic regulation is more employee-friendly, while the Republican view is more employer-oriented. One wonders, then, how much will change under President Donald Trump after eight years of the Obama administration.

When it comes to employment regulation at the federal level, a number of laws establish statutory requirements and prohibitions, but detailed instruction as to compliance with these laws comes in the form of administrative regulations promulgated by agencies such as the Department of Labor (DOL). In addition, court decisions further clarify the governing statutes as well as the attendant regulations.

It is in the issuance and enforcement of regulations that a presidential administration can affect the course of employment matters across the country. The biggest issue that looms as we transition from an employee-friendly administration to an employer friendly one is the revised white-collar overtime regulations that would require overtime pay for more employees.

In 2016, the DOL increased the salary threshold at which employees would be exempt from overtime pay from $23,660 per year to $47,476, resulting in an estimated 4.2 million employees becoming newly eligible. This pleased workers, but was not well-received by employers, who would experience higher labor costs. The threshold had not been changed in more than 20 years, and the new regulations contained a provision to have it revised every five years. The new rule is currently on hold due to a federal court decision delaying implementation until the court could fully consider the arguments for and against.

Given the new president’s desire to promote business growth and new jobs, it is expected that the administration will backtrack from the new regulations. Whether the administration will wait for the court to rule before proceeding is not clear. If the court allows the new rule to move forward, it could allow workers to be eligible only until the administration acts to roll back the threshold.

The administrative rule-making process requires public notice and comment periods that can be quite lengthy, so letting the court case proceed without a rule change may not be favored by the Trump administration. On the other hand, the court may wait for the DOL to revise the rule and then dismiss the case.

When it comes to protecting your rights as an employee, you want to have an experienced employment law attorney on your side. Whatever the issue may be, the experienced attorneys at Armstrong & Vaught can help you secure your rights and obtain proper compensation. Call today at 918-582-2500 for a free consultation, or contact us online.