Since the United States Department of Labor announced its intention, in response to the President’s directive, to more than double the salary basis necessary to qualify for the “white collar” exemptions from overtime, the business community has swung into action. Employers and associations have both been lobbying for a more modest increase to the minimum required salary and simultaneously preparing to comply with the new rule should it take effect in its current proposed form. One key element of that compliance is of course budgeting for exactly when the new rule will be promulgated in final form and then effective.
DOL officials have indicated that that the final rule will likely be released during the second half of 2016. This remains no more than an estimate, and pressure through lobbying or litigation to bring about change could still impact not only the substance of the final rule, but the timing of announcements and the effective date itself. The upcoming Presidential election also may impact any release date.
Businesses must push forward with their analyses and communication plans under the assumption that the salary basis will increase as proposed sometime in late 2016. Unfortunately, the implementation date for those plans remains unclear.