New Overtime Rule Deadline Stayed

By Dennis Ford Eagan, Esq.

The changes to the overtime regulations that had been set for implementation on December 1, 2016, have been placed on hold.

A decision by the United States District Court (E.D. Tex.) on November 22, 2016, has stayed the enforcement and implementation deadline for the recently enacted Department of Labor regulations intended to expanded the pool of employees eligible for overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The new overtime regulations, issued earlier this year, increased the salary basis for overtime exemptions from $ 455 ($23,660 annually) to $913 ($47,476 per year), with with automatic increases set for every three years based on wage growth over time.  By the Dept. of Labor’s projections, the new regulations would have impacted 84,000 Massachusetts employees.

With the Court’s decision to extend the December 1, 2016 deadline, and with the pending transition to the President Trump administration, the new regulations now face an uncertain future.

That said, it is important for all employers to ensure that they are compliant with existing overtime obligations under both state and federal laws.  Careful attention must be made in determining the exemption status of employees, including scrutiny of employee handbooks, job descriptions and day-to-day managerial decisions.  In Massachusetts, failure to comply with these obligations can result in awards of treble damages, attorneys fees and costs.

For additional information please do not hesitate to contact Finneran & Nicholson, P.C. at (978) 462-1514 or via email at cases@finnic.com.

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