Proposed revisions to Section 13(a)(1) of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act are coming under scrutiny as some question the Department of Labor’s (DOL) authority to create legislation. U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez recently announced that the agency submitted a proposal to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that will potentially affect the number of employees who are eligible to receive overtime pay under federal labor policies.
The current legislation exempts certain classes of workers from receiving overtime pay, even if they work more than 40 hours within a single workweek. The exemption currently applies to workers who are paid a salary of at least $455 per week. In addition, the employee must perform certain types of work, also known as the “duties” test. While the exact exemption that applies to individual jobs vary, the types of factors to look for include:
- Management of the business;
- Control over individuals;
- Substantial decision making authority;
- Work that requires specialized academic instruction or training;
- Work that is done in the field of computer technology;
- Work that includes sales made away from the employer’s place of business; and/or
- Work in a recognized artistic or creative field.
Though the proposed changes are yet to be reviewed, proponents argue that is the responsibility of Congress to determine if changes are appropriate and make them, and not the executive branch. If the OMB approves the submission, the DOL will release the proposed changes for public review and comment.