US Department of Labor Releases Overtime Update Proposal

Window & Door
March 8, 2019

The U.S. Department of Labor announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would make more than a million more American workers eligible for overtime. This new proposal would update the salary threshold using current wage data, projected to Jan. 1, 2020, and would boost the standard salary level from $455 to $679 per week (an equivalent of $23,660 to $35,308 per year). 

“Our economy has more job openings than job seekers and more Americans are joining the labor force,” says Secretary Alexander Acosta. “At my confirmation hearings, I committed to an update of the 2004 overtime threshold, and today’s proposal would bring common sense, consistency, and higher wages to working Americans.”

In developing the proposal, the department received extensive public input from six in-person listening sessions held around the nation and more than 200,000 comments as part of a 2017 request for information.

“Commenters on the RFI and in-person sessions overwhelmingly agreed that the 2004 levels need to be updated,” says Keith Sonderling, acting administrator for the department’s Wage and Hour Division.

The DOL is also asking for public comment about the NPRM’s language for periodic review to update the salary threshold. An update would continue to require notice-and-comment rulemaking.

The NPRM maintains overtime protections for police officers, fire fighters, paramedics, nurses, and laborers, including non-management production-line employees and non-management employees in maintenance, construction and similar occupations such as carpenters, electricians, mechanics, plumbers, iron workers, craftsmen, operating engineers, longshoremen and construction workers. The proposal does not call for automatic adjustments to the salary threshold.

More information about the proposed rule is available here. The DOL encourages any interested members of the public to submit comments about the proposed rule electronically here in the rulemaking docket RIN 1235-AA20. Once the rule is published in the Federal Register, the public will have 60 days to submit comments for those comments to be considered.