Legal Insider: Obama Expands Overtime to Millions of Employees

Berry&BerryRevised  

This is a sponsored column by attorneys John Berry and Kimberly Berry of Berry & Berry, PLLC, an employment and labor law firm located in Reston Town Center that specializes in federal employee, security clearance, retirement, and private sector employee matters.

President Barack Obama recently proposed a salary increase for millions of American employees by proposing to expand the scope of overtime rules under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

The proposed rule issued by the U.S. Department of Labor would raise the overtime salary threshold–which is currently $23,700–to as much as $50,400. As a result, the salary level for non-exempt employees would double under the new overtime rule if they work more than 40 hours a week. This new overtime rule would present a significant change in overtime requirements for employers and employees.

One of the reasons for the change is that the current overtime rules provide employers significant leeway to classify employees as “managerial” and, therefore, exempt them from time-and-a-half overtime compensation. The President took the action under the FLSA, which was enacted in 1938 and last updated in 2004, through a proposed change in regulations by the U.S. Department of Labor.

This type of regulatory change does not require Congressional action and will likely be in effect in 2016 when the rule is finalized. The public can comment on the proposed rule up until September 4, 2015.

In the past, the FLSA salary threshold did not account for inflation. One of the goals of the proposed rule is to establish procedures for automatically updating salary levels in the future.

The new overtime change will mean that a significant portion of employees will now be eligible for overtime compensation for the first time. For more information on the new proposed rule, view the U.S. Department of Labor’s fact sheet.

We represent employees in federal employment matters nationwide, as well as private and public sector employees in employment matters in the Commonwealth of Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Maryland. If you need assistance with an employment law issue, please contact our office at (703) 668-0070 or at www.berrylegal.com to schedule a consultation. Please also visit and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BerryBerryPllc.

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