The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division has announced that in the upcoming weeks it will hold public listening sessions to gather views on the Part 541 white-collar exemption regulations, often referred to as the overtime rule.

Issued under the Fair Labor Standards Act, these regulations implement exemptions from the overtime pay requirements for executive, administrative, professional, and certain other employees.

The DOL plans to update the overtime rule and is interested in hearing the views and ideas of participants on possible revisions to the regulations.

The listening session closest to Connecticut will be held in Providence on Sept. 24, 2018, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Rhode Island Convention Center, 1 Sabin St., Room 551A/B.

Other sessions will be held in Atlanta (Sept. 7), Seattle (Sept. 11), Kansas City (Sept. 13), and Denver (Sept. 14).

Listening sessions are free to the public; however, registration is required.

Rule Revision Overturned Last Year

In May 2016, the Obama administration issued a controversial overtime rule revision, increasing the salary eligibility threshold for mandatory overtime pay to $47,476 from $23,660, or $913 a week from $455—a move that would have cost U.S. businesses more than $1 billion in labor costs.

However, in September 2017, a federal judge ruling in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas overturned the Obama era rule, calling its revised salary threshold for establishing overtime eligibility "unreasonably high."

Judge Amos Mazzant said the Labor Department overstepped its authority to establish a salary threshold by focusing too heavily on workers' pay, rather than job duties, to determine overtime eligibility.

U.S. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta has suggested the department may issue a new rule with a more moderate salary threshold increase, possibly in the low $30,000 range.

For some additional insights into where developments may be headed, join us at CBIA's Wage & Hour Self Audit workshop, Sept. 20 in Wallingford. One of our presenters will be Tammy McCutchen, an attorney with Littler Mendelson P.C. and a leading authority on federal and state wage and hour laws. Previously, McCutchen served as administrator at the  U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division where she played a significant role in prior revisions to the overtime rule.