On March 13, 2014, President Obama signed a Presidential Memorandum directing the Secretary of Labor to “propose revisions to modernize and streamline the existing overtime regulations,” specifically, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). The President suggested that, in doing so, the Secretary of Labor consider “how the regulations could be revised to update existing protections consistent with the intent of the Act; address the changing nature of the workplace; and simplify the regulations to make them easier for both workers and businesses to understand and apply.”
Although there are no concrete directives in the Memorandum, in an accompanying Fact Sheet, the White House raises concerns that many salaried workers are being required to work more than forty hours in a week, but are not entitled to overtime because they are characterized as exempt under one of the “white collar” exemptions of the FLSA. In that Fact Sheet, the White House states that the minimum salary requirement for the white collar exemptions (now $455 per week) is low and has not been updated since 2004, leading many to believe that the Secretary of Labor may raise this requirement. We will watch as this develops over the next year.