Workplace Wise - Iowa Employment Law Attorneys

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

DOL to Expand FLSA Overtime Protections

By Megan Erickson Moritz

On March 18, 2014, President Obama directed the United States Secretary of Labor to “modernize and streamline” existing regulations regarding exemptions from the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime requirements.  The President’s Memorandum described the current regulations as “outdated,” indicating the overtime protections afforded under the FLSA should be expanded to cover more employees.  The President instructed the Department of Labor to “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 the details of any forthcoming changes remain unclear, it is clear that the intent behind the proposed regulations is to make more workers eligible for overtime compensation.  These changes will likely have a significant impact on employers, and may well trigger an upsurge in wage and hour litigation.  The new regulations would not take effect for a year or more, as there are a number of steps in the rulemaking process, and we will keep you posted as more information becomes available.