As the year comes to a close, it’s important to note that on November 6, 2017 the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted motion to the Department of Labor (DOL), to halt litigation over the 2016 overtime rule. This motion makes it unlikely that the 2016 overtime rule will ever take effect. If you recall in November 2016, the minimum salary level threshold for overtime and exempt status would have been raised to $47,476 per year, impacting more that 4-million people.
Below are 2 updates from the recent ruling:
- No Ambiguity: “The DOL wants to preserve its right to have the 5th Circuit decide that it has the authority to set whatever salary level it ultimately selects…potentially removing a precedent that could serve as a basis for challenging the next overtime rule the department issues.”[i]
- New Rulemaking: When the DOL under the current administration issues a new rule, it can seek to have the current appeal dismissed and the court’s decision vacated. The focus currently is on a new rule that incorporates a more modest increase in the salary threshold.
The rule making process is scheduled to begin in July 2018. Remember, this is a federal law; state specific laws can vary on exempt and non-exempt status. In New York State, we have laws that impact Executive and Administrative Classifications and overtime exemption level thresholds, based on the location throughout the state. These rates will increase on January 1, 2018. Remember to review state and federal guidelines, to ensure legal compliance.
Additionally, the minimum wage rate in New York State is scheduled to increase on December 31, 2017. This again is based on location. In Upstate New York, the rate increases from $9.70 to $10.40/per hour. The federal minimum wage has not been increased since 2009.
If you are confused by the classifying positions and exemption changes in New York State, seek guidance and ask questions. Classifying positions can be complex. Do not assume when classifying positions as exempt or nonexempt. There have been multiple court rulings lately regarding mis-classification of positions as exempt.