Association Joins Partnership Urging Caution in Salary Exemptions

Today the Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association adds its voice in support of the Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act. This important and reasonable federal legislation would require the U.S. Department of Labor to perform a detailed impact analysis prior to implementing changes to the exemptions for executive, administrative, and professional employees (the “white collar exemptions”) under the Fair Labor Standard Act’s overtime pay requirements.download film A Dog’s Purpose 2017download film Ghost in the Shell 2017

Currently, under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations, a person must satisfy three criteria to qualify as exempt from federal overtime pay requirements. They must be paid on a salary basis. That salary must be more than $455/week ($23,660 a year. And, their primary duties must be consistent with managerial, professional or administrative positions as defined by the Department of Labor (DOL).

On June 30, 2015, DOL proposed increasing the salary threshold to $50,440 per year, a 113% increase that would occur all at once in 2016, and in all areas of the country regardless of regional economic differences.

The Department also proposed automatically increasing the salary threshold on an annual basis. While DOL did not offer a specific proposal to modify the standard duties tests, the Department is considering an unworkable requirement to quantify how much time employees spend performing their primary duties.

The Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act would block the current proposed regulation from taking effect and require the Department of Labor to perform a deeper analysis on the impact of the proposed changes on small businesses, nonprofits, regional economies, local governments, Medicare-and Medicaid-dependent health care providers, and academic institutions before proceeding with a new rule.

The Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act is consistent with comments submitted by the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, which noted that DOL’s
economic analysis severely underestimated the impact the proposed rule would have on small businesses, non-profits, and small governmental jurisdictions. The comments also criticized the Department’s analysis for not considering the impact the changes would have on regions of the country with different costs of living.

The bill does not prevent an increase in the salary threshold; it merely requires the Department of Labor to more closely examine the impact of possible changes before proceeding with a final rule.

Taking the leadership role in this battle is the Partnership to Protect Workplace Opportunity, which includes a group of associations, businesses, and other stakeholders representing employers with millions of employees across the country and across industries.

For more information, go to FarmEquip.org/OT to view the Partnership website.streaming movie The Circle 2017film Life online streaming

While we urge Congressional action on this new DOL regulation, should they fail or have their action vetoed, members can count on this Association to provide advice from our HR attorneys, David James and Joe Schmitt, who are shareholders in the labor and employment group at Nilan Johnson Lewis and provide HR legal advice to our members at no cost.watch movie The Lost City of Z now

Whether it’s one-on-one advice or general HR advice that regularly appears in this newsletter and our Ag Innovator magazine, we encourage members to take advantage of this and other great membership benefits provided by FEMA Services Inc., developed under the direction of our Risk Management Committee.