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white collar excemptions

DOL proposes Sweeping Changes to White Collar Exemption

Authored by Alex Passantino

Today, the New York Times reported that the Obama Administration intends to propose comprehensive changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act’s most significant exemptions — the exemptions for executive, administrative, and professional employees.

Although the details are still fuzzy, it appears — as we suggested last week — that the Administration will seek to raise the salary level for the exemption to apply. The article references salary numbers as high as $984 per week, regardless of whether the employee works on Wall Street or in Hahira, Georgia.

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In addition, the Times article seems to indicate that the Administration plans to adjust the primary duty test — described in the article as something that employers can simply “declare” — presumably to implement a California-esque hard 50% limitation on work deemed non-exempt. It is likely that changes to the duties tests will also be proposed. In particular, the Administration may seek to change the test for the administrative exemption, where a previous sub-regulatory effort has thus far fallen flat.

Of course, we will know much more when the regulation is actually proposed, and will update you once it is, or when additional details of the Administration’s plans emerge.

Once the regulation is proposed, the public will have the opportunity to provide comments on the proposal, which the DOL will have to review and analyze prior to any revisions becoming effective.

Find this articles and other by Seyfarth Shaw LLP, here.