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Changes to Overtime Regulations Expand FLSA Coverage

Last week, in a move that will lead to millions more employees being eligible for overtime wage rates for hours worked over 40, President Obama signed an executive order modifying regulations contained in the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).

The FLSA requires that employees who are not classified as “exempt” must be paid overtime wage rates for all hours worked over 40 per week.  There are various exemptions, however, including exemptions for some executive, administrative, and professional employees.  The President’s order, according to his statement, is intended to simplify and narrow the definition of who can properly be classified as exempt.  Specifically, the President discussed the minimum salary requirement level and the requirements surrounding job duties.  The President spoke of modernizing and streamlining the regulations in light of the “changing nature of the workplace.” The President also called on Congress to update the minimum wage provisions of the FLSA. 

At the direction of President Obama, the Department of Labor will begin the arduous process of promulgating the rule changes, publishing them, and reviewing public commentary. Unfortunately, until that process is complete, the current regulations remain in effect.  

The full video of the President’s remarks, embedded, below: