The Department of Labor’s comment period on a rule that would expand overtime benefits for county government employees closes on September 25th.
According to the National Association of Counties, in June, the Department of Labor dropped its defense of a lawsuit joined by against the rule. The rule, proposed under the Obama Administration, would have required employers to pay overtime to more employees by raising the salary threshold for those exempt from existing overtime rules. The threshold under the proposed rule would have almost doubled, from $23,660 ($455 per week) to $47,476 ($913 per week).
County governments are a major employer and economic engine for workers across the U.S., employing more than 3.3 million people and providing services to over 305 million county residents. Counties provide health benefits to nearly 2.5 million employees and nearly 2.4 million of their dependents. For health insurance premiums alone, counties spend an estimated $20 to $24 billion annually.
NACo’s comments reflect our concerns about the proposed rule to increase the threshold amount for “white collar” employees’ exemption from overtime pay and the potential impact that the proposed rule could have on county budgets and administration.
The key concerns include:
- Changing the overtime pay exemptions threshold;
- Automatic annual adjustments/increases;
- The need for additional time needed for public comment.
Experts quoted in coverage from HR Advisor predict the Department of Labor to revise the rule with a lower salary threshold for the exemption. From HR Advisor,
Amelia J. Holstrom, a contributor to Massachusetts Employment Law Letter and attorney with Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C., in Springfield, Massachusetts, also expects a new rule to have a lower salary threshold than the rule issued during the Obama administration.
“I anticipate that the DOL will get a lot of comments from the business community indicating that the Obama-era rule would have been too burdensome to comply with,” Holstrom says. “I also think you will see the majority of employers agree that some increase in the salary threshold is necessary, and I anticipate most will support an increase consistent with inflation.”
For more information, see Time Running Out to Comment on Long-Stalled Overtime Rule from HRAdvisor and DOL drops defense of overtime pay rule change.