Let your voice be heard!

The Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor announced today that it will conduct public listening sessions in a number of cities about the white-collar exemptions to the overtime requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

(For the full saga on the overtime exemption rule, go here and follow the links.)

The DOL wants discussion on the following topics:

1) What is the appropriate salary level (or range of salary levels) above which the overtime exemptions for bona fide executive, administrative, or professional employees may apply? Why?

2) What benefits and costs to employees and employers might accompany an increased salary level? How would an increased salary level affect real wages (e.g., increasing overtime pay for employees whose current salaries are below a new level but above the current threshold)? Could an increased salary level reduce litigation costs by reducing the number of employees whose exemption status is unclear? Could this additional certainty produce other benefits for employees and employers?

3) What is the best methodology to determine an updated salary level? Should the update derive from wage growth, cost-of-living increases, actual wages paid to employees, or some other measure?

4) Should the Department more regularly update the standard salary level and the total-annual-compensation level for highly compensated employees? If so, how should these updates be made? How frequently should updates occur? What benefits, if any, could result from more frequent updates?

The listening sessions, which are open to members of the general public, will take place during the month of September in the following cities: Atlanta, Seattle, Kansas City, Denver, and Providence, RI. Dates and times are provided in the linked announcement.