Millions of american workers could be newly eligible for overtime under expected new amendments to the Department of Labor's Fair Labor Standards Act. The proposed amendments, expected to be published in the next several weeks, are intended to modernize and streamline existing regulations to more effectively fulfill the FLSA's purpose in the modern economy.
The Fair Labor Standards Act is the federal law that mandates minimum wage and overtime. The predicted proposed amendments will increase the minimum threshhold for salaried employees to be exempt from overtime laws, and may clarify what types of employment can be exempt at any salary level. Currently, to be overtime-exempt, a worker must be employed in a bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity, or as an outside salesperson. The minimum salary that may be paid to an overtime-exempt employee is $23,660.00 per year; the new rules are predicted to increase the minimum threshhold to over $40,000.00 annual salaries. The Economic Policy Institute estimates that increasing the minimum threshhold salary for overtime exemption to $42,000.00 would affect 3.5 million workers across the country.
The coming changes were spurred by a March 2014 memo from President Obama to the Secretary of Labor, directing him to "modernize and streamline" the existing regulations, which were last amended in 2004.