New FLSA Overtime Rule Implementation Resources and Toolkit

This toolkit will provide you with Department of Labor (DOL) Resources, CUPA-HR Resources, PowerPoints, and FAQs

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Important Updates

  • On August 31, 2017, the Texas federal court that preliminarily struck down the Obama administration’s overtime rule issued a final decision in which it permanently struck down the rule. In addition, the Court clarified the extent to which DOL may rely on a minimum salary threshold. The Court suggested that adjusting the salary threshold DOL set in 2004 for inflation would be permissible. With this additional clarity, DOL should be able to move forward with a proposed revision to the overtime regulations after it concludes gathering data through its recent Request for Information. Please see the September 1, 2017 CUPA-HR article for more information.

  • On July 26, 2017, DOL published a Request for Information (RFI) on overtime rules. The RFI seeks input on a wide variety of topics, many of which involve issues that have been raised since DOL published its final salary threshold rule (raising the annual threshold from $23,660 to $47,476) over a year ago. With the $47,476 salary level on hold, DOL has the opportunity to revisit the question of what the salary threshold should be.  If the Fifth Circuit rules that DOL may establish a different salary threshold, the RFI responses will provide it with the information it needs to adjust the salary level through the rulemaking process. Comments must be sent to DOL by September 24, 2017. Please see the July 25, 2017 CUPA-HR article for more information.

  • On June 30, 2017, DOL dropped its defense of the $913 per week salary level in the 2016 Obama administration overtime rule.  In a brief to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, it is DOL’s position that the Court should allow it to establish a different salary threshold, presumably a threshold lower than $913 per week.  Please see the July 6, 2017 CUPA-HR article for more information on DOL’s plans to revise the overtime rule.  

  • On June 7, 2017, Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta noted during a House Appropriations Subcommittee hearing that the agency is planning to issue a request for information (RFI) on the currently enjoined Obama administration’s overtime rule.  Please see the June 12, 2017 CUPA-HR article for more details.
  • On February 22, 2017, the Fifth Circuit granted a request by the Department of Justice for an extension of time of sixty days, until May 1, 2017, in which to file its reply brief. The additional time was requested on behalf of DOL “to allow incoming leadership personnel adequate time to consider the issues.”
  • On February 16, 2017, the House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Workforce Protections held a hearing entitled “Federal Wage and Hour Policies in the Twenty-First Century Economy.”  On behalf of CUPA-HR, CEO Andy Brantley provided testimony relaying higher education’s concerns with DOL’s recent overtime rule.  A CUPA-HR article provides a link to Brantley’s testimony.
  • On December 8, 2016, the Fifth Circuit granted the Department of Justice’s motion for an expedited appeal. DOL’s final brief must be filed by January 31, 2017.  After the briefs have been filed, the court will schedule oral arguments.  If the DOL declines to continue the appeal, the overtime rule will remain blocked.
  • On December 1, 2016, the Department of Justice, on behalf of the Department of Labor, filed a notice to appeal the preliminary injunction to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.  The Department has moved to expedite the appeal.  See the Department of Labor website for more details on this appeal.
  • On November 28, 2016, Vice President Miller, on behalf of President Cross, sent a memo pdf to UW System chancellors informing them of the UW System’s decision to halt all plans to comply with the previously anticipated DOL overtime rule due to the court order blocking its implementation. The planned changes of employees’ FLSA status and planned FLSA-based salary increases will not take place effective December 1st.
  • On November 22, 2016, a federal judge in the Eastern District of Texas placed a nationwide hold on the U.S. Department of Labor changes scheduled to take effect on December 1, 2016.

Nationwide, higher education institutions reacted to the injunction in different ways.  See the CUPA-HR blog post on the FLSA Injunction–Changes Made, Changes Stopped and Changes Reversed.

This website will be updated as additional information is received.

Background

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the federal law that determines which employees are eligible for overtime pay and which are ineligible. In March of 2014, President Obama directed the Secretary of the U.S. Labor Department (DOL) to make changes to the regulations governing exemptions to the Fair Labor Standard Act’s (FLSA’s) overtime pay requirements for executive, administrative, and professional employees (known as the “white collar” exemptions). Under FLSA overtime regulations, employees are designated as nonexempt hourly employees who are eligible to receive overtime pay or as exempt salaried employees who are not eligible to receive FLSA overtime pay. To qualify as exempt, an employee must satisfy the following three tests:

  • Have a salary above the minimum salary threshold;
  • Be paid on a “salary basis;” and
  • Perform duties that qualify for an exemption.

If an employee is designated as nonexempt, the employee is eligible for overtime pay and must be paid at time-and-one-half for hours worked over 40 per week.

Changes to Overtime Pay Regulations

On May 18, 2016, the DOL announced the changes to FLSA regulations that will increase the minimum salary threshold.

  • Current salary threshold: $455 per week (or $23,660 annually)
  • New salary threshold: $913 per week (or $47,476 annually)

Preparing for Implementation of the New Rules

  • Institutions continue to identify employees that are likely to be affected by the new rules.
  • Institutions continue to audit positions.
  • Institutions continue to analyze anticipated overtime costs.
  • Institutions continue to collaborate, develop, and refine strategies for implementation of the proposed rules.