Twice a year (in the spring and the fall), each federal agency publishes a “Regulatory Agenda” that discloses the proposal and final rules it has recently issued, together with those that it plans to issue.  Back in the fall of 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division noted in the agenda that it was reviewing the regulations for exemption of executive, administrative, and professional (“EAP”) employees from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s minimum wage and overtime requirements codified in 29 C.F.R. Part 541.

One of the “primary goals” of the planned rulemaking is to update the minimum salary level requirement for employees who, by virtue of their duties, would qualify for an EAP exemption under section 13(a)(1) of the FLSA.  You may recall that in May 2016, the Obama DOL issued a new overtime rule, to take effect on December 1 of that year, that would have—among other things—required the DOL to update (i.e., increase) the salary threshold for EAP exemptions every three years.  In November 2019, before it could take effect, a federal judge in Texas enjoined the new overtime rule on a nationwide basis, declaring it “unlawful.”

In September 2019, the Trump DOL issued a new overtime rule, which took effect on January 1, 2020, raising the weekly minimum salary for EAP exemptions from $455 per week ($23,660 per year) to $684 per week ($35,568 per year).  The increase was the first in 15 years, but nowhere near the boost the Obama administration tried to roll out in 2016 (to $913 per week, or $47,476 per year).

Cut to the Biden administration.  The DOL noted in the fall 2021 Regulatory Agenda that “[r]egular updates [to the minimum salary for EAP exemption] promote greater stability, avoid disruptive salary level increases that can result from lengthy gaps between updates and provide appropriate wage protection.”  The agency listed a timetable for issuance of a proposed overtime rule update (a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, or NPRM) as April 4, 2022.  Seven months later, we’ve seen no proposed rule.

If and when issued, the public will have the opportunity to comment on the proposed rule.  (Back in 2016, the Obama DOL received more than 293,000 comments to its proposed overtime rule.)  Stay tuned.

Proskauer’s Wage and Hour Group is comprised of seasoned litigators who regularly advise the world’s leading companies to help them avoid, minimize, and manage exposure to wage and hour-related risk.  Subscribe to our wage and hour blog to stay current on the latest developments.

 

Print:
Email this postTweet this postLike this postShare this post on LinkedIn
Photo of Allan Bloom Allan Bloom

Allan S. Bloom is a nationally recognized trial lawyer and advisor who represents management in a broad range of employment and labor law matters. As a litigator, Allan has successfully defended a number of the world’s leading companies against claims for unpaid wages…

Allan S. Bloom is a nationally recognized trial lawyer and advisor who represents management in a broad range of employment and labor law matters. As a litigator, Allan has successfully defended a number of the world’s leading companies against claims for unpaid wages, employment discrimination, breach of contract and wrongful discharge, both at the trial and appellate court levels as well as in arbitration. He has secured complete defense verdicts for clients in front of juries, as well as injunctions to protect clients’ confidential information and assets.

As the leader of Proskauer’s Wage and Hour Practice Group, Allan has been a strategic partner to a number of Fortune 500 companies to help them avoid, minimize and manage exposure to wage and hour-related risk. Allan’s views on wage and hour issues have been featured in The New York TimesReutersBloomberg and Fortune, among other leading publications. His class-action defense work for clients has saved hundreds of millions of dollars in potential damages.

Allan is regularly called on to advise boards of directors and senior leadership on highly sensitive matters such as executive transitions, internal investigations and strategic workforce planning. He also has particular expertise in the financial services industry, where he has litigated and arbitrated cases, including at FINRA and its predecessors, for more than 20 years.
A prolific author and speaker, Allan was the Editor of the New York State Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Law Journal from 2012 to 2017. He has served as an author, editor and contributor to a number of leading treatises in the field of employment law, including ADR in Employment Law (ABA/Bloomberg BNA, Senior Editor), Employment Discrimination Law (ABA/Bloomberg BNA, Final Proof Editor), Cutting Edge Advances in Resolving Workplace Disputes (Cornell University/CPR, Editor), The Employment Law Review (Law Business Research, U.S. Chapter Author), and The Complete Compliance and Ethics Manual (SCCE, Chapter Author).

Allan is a member of the NYSBA’s House of Delegates, sits on the Executive Committee of the NYSBA’s Labor and Employment Law Section, and is a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. He has been recognized as a leading practitioner by Chambers since 2011.