Today, the final Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) overtime rule was set to go into effect, but 10 days ago, a Texas district judge issued a preliminary injunction halting the rule. Although it is possible that the government could successfully appeal the decision, it’s more likely that any changes to the overtime rules will wait for the incoming Administration.
It has been a chaotic week for many in our profession. Employers—and HR professionals especially—already have spent considerable time preparing for the overtime regulation, reclassifying employees, adjusting job specs, and eyeing budgets to accommodate salary increases that were unplanned. As one of our members wrote, “Whether ‘right’ or ‘wrong,’ the amount of time, money and sweat that so many businesses and HR folks have put into this is staggering.”
SHRM agrees that the current legal salary threshold needs to be raised, but the proposed increase to $47,476 was too high and too fast. SHRM welcomes a reconsideration of the overtime rule that takes into account the needs of employers and employees and that reflects the realities of the 21st Century workplace.
Here is what we recommend for now: Because the rule did not take effect today, employers may continue to follow existing overtime regulations. Organizations that have already reclassified positions or raised salaries may want to leave these decisions in place. This is the company’s call, however, since each workplace is unique—but the goal should be to take whatever actions make the most sense for your workplace.
Companies are not alone when making their tough choices, however. SHRM has been standing shoulder-to-shoulder with HR professionals at every stage of the regulatory process, revision and implementation of the FLSA overtime rule, and we aren’t stopping now. We invite everyone to stay connected through SHRM.org for breaking information and policy developments, as well as expert advice. SHRM members can access peer-to-peer knowledge sharing through SHRM Connect and our Employment Law discussion group. As always, our SHRM Knowledge Advisors can help with questions about overtime regulations and other HR issues.
Our compliance guide for the FLSA Overtime Rules can be found at: https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/legal-and-compliance/employment-law/pages/flsa-overtime-rule-resources.aspx.
Our profession will continue to be on the front lines of change as new regulations and legislation emerge from the transitioning government. SHRM will be here to support you with every resource available, enabling you to lead your organization to do its best work—even in times of uncertainty.