The final rule for the new "white collar" overtime regulations from the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) is likely to be published in spring or summer of 2016.
As we previously reported, the DOL issued proposed regulations in July 2015 announcing significant changes to the law governing certain “white collar” workers who are exempt from minimum wage and overtime pay. The DOL’s proposed regulations more than double the current minimum salary level for exempt employees, significantly increase the salary level required for employees to be exempt from overtime as highly compensated employees, and automatically adjust the minimum salary level each year to account for the increase in the cost of living.
The DOL’s Fall 2015 Semiannual Regulatory Agenda indicates that the timetable for publishing the final rule is July 2016. However, there is reason to think that the final rule might come sooner. In an interview with Bloomberg BNA on December 16, 2015, Labor Secretary Thomas Perez stated, “I'm confident we’ll get the final rule out by the spring of next year.”
The final rule is expected to increase the minimum salary level for "white collar" exempt employees, and to add a mechanism for an automatic annual increase of that minimum level. It is expected that fewer employees will meet the requirements to be exempt from overtime, and thus either will be entitled to receive overtime pay, or will have to receive a higher salary in order to remain exempt under the FLSA.