the new overtime rule is on hold

That new overtime rule that was coming next week that would have required an additional 4.2 million American workers to be paid overtime if they work more than 40 hours in a week.? It’s been blocked for now.

A Texas judge today issued a temporary injunction halting the rule nationwide.

It’s not a permanent stop to it, just a temporary halt. It might ultimately still end up going forward … or this may the end of the rule as we knew it. But it’s definitely not taking effect next week.

If this had happened some time after the December 1 implementation, I suspect many employers would have stayed with the new rule because they wouldn’t have wanted to switch people to a higher salary and then switch them back to a lower one. But coming 10 days before the implementation date and with a new administration and Congress coming in, there’s a decent chance that this might never move forward in its current form at all.

I do think we’ll see some update to the threshold for being exempt from overtime pay, but I’d bet a reasonable amount of money that it won’t be the change everyone spent the last few months preparing for.

A shocking development!

{ 334 comments… read them below or add one }

        1. Quantum Mechanic

          Read the linked opinion. The short version is that the judge believes the agency made a determination (re: the duties test) that was ultra vires.

          Reply
        2. Alano

          I’m not an attorney but I think the legal argument is that the Dept. of Labor overstepped its legal bounds with this regulation. In theory, all new laws like this must come from our elected representatives in Congress. However, many decades ago it became obvious that Congress didn’t have time to regulate everything under the sun, so Congress decided to start delegating some of its legislative power to unelected officials in the executive branch. But if an administrative rule hurts you, you can sue in federal court and essentially argue that the rule was outside what Congress intended. Many new regulations like this issued by federal agencies get challenged in court.

          In this case, the judge blocked the new rule from going into effect because he believes there may be some merit to plaintiff’s argument and because (as Alison notes) once the law goes into effect it would be burdensome for businesses to reverse.

          I personally believe it’s a remarkably silly law because cost of living is so different in different parts of the country. Earning 48k a year in Tulsa or Little Rock or Toledo is like earning 148k in New York City or Boston or LA. This law is almost perfectly designed to gut small businesses and destroy millions of jobs in rural America. Although I’m suuure that’s not what the current administration was trying to accomplish. ;)

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          1. Zip Silver

            48k is definitely a burden on small businesses. Rather than pegging it to the 40th percentile in the South, they ought to have pegged it to the 25th percentile.

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            1. Jadelyn

              So…nobody said small businesses have to pay their people 48k a year. They’re just saying if businesses pay less, they have to pay for overtime worked. That’s all it is. A business can pay someone $20k a year if they want, nobody is stopping that (aside from state minimum wage laws, anyway) but if they do that, they can’t work them more than 40 hours a week without paying overtime for the privilege. It’s not forcing businesses to raise salaries, but preventing them from taking unfair advantage of those lower-paid employees, and to present it as though they’re being forced to bear high salary costs rather than being allowed to make low-wage employees hourly is disingenuous at best.

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              1. Nkf

                There is a difference between a salaried employee and a hourly employee. To be a salaried employee you would have had to be paid the $47,476…if it would have went into effect. And the number of hours you work wouldn’the matter because you are salaried. You also have to meet the other tests to be considered salaried. If the employee doesn’t meet all the tests…including pay…they can’t be classified as salaried and need to be classified as an hourly employee and be paid for any hours worked over 40 hours in a 7 day period.

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          2. Cass

            But it is my understanding that the law doesn’t force anyone to be paid more than the threshold, but rather the worker would need to be paid overtime.

            When thinking about this new regulation, I often thought of my time working retail in college when managers would regularly be putting in 60, 70 hours weeks for the same very low pay during the holiday season. It seemed to me it was trying to address this discrepancy of just assigning someone to be salaried to avoid paying them…I’m sure it will have unintended consequences (as almost all new legislation) but the logic behind it seems sound to me, even in low COL areas.

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          3. Oh no, not again

            Alano, businesses have been using the current exemption to avoid paying people for what they work. Make a salaried manager work overtime, not have to pay them for it and hire less people is the result. If a business cannot afford to pay their people for actually working, then that horribly mismanaged business should not be in business.

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            1. Alano

              You could say that about all salaried positions (“forcing people to work without paying them.”) The fact is 48k in many rural areas is a solid middle class salary – similar to making 100k or 150k in urban areas. So this is a law that will hurt low profit businesses in rural areas.

              Most businesses don’t just magically have extra money to comply with this law. Most will reduce the wages of the formerly salaried employees who are now working less hours, or reduce the pay of other low wage workers, or hire less workers. There’s no solutions in this world, only trade offs.

              Like minimum wage laws generally, this law will hurt the people it’s allegedly supposed to help. The only people it will unambiguously help are the demogogues who created the law in order to generate a few positive headlines in the newspapers.

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              1. Cass

                I respectfully disagree – there will always be unintended consequences with laws, but I believe it will help strengthen workers.

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              2. Martin

                There’s no requirement to bump people up. They could be switched over to non-exempt and be paid the same annual base pay hourly. A responsible business owner should not exploit their employees. If you own a small business and you want to dedicate 50 or more hours to it a week, then that’s an investment on your part. An employee with no stake in your business, other than their pay based on 40 hours of work, shouldn’t be required to carry that load. And if you find there are times when you’re very busy an need more help, then you can build in flex time-off during the same pay period so that things even out.

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              3. Oh no, not again

                Well, greed has a lot to do with it. We need a complete change in business & worker philosophy. Any business that can’t afford to properly pay their employees is not entitled to stay in business. I’ll never be in support of working people into the ground and not paying them a fair and living wage.

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                1. The Rat-Catcher

                  Roosevelt said the same thing and I think both of you are spot-on. The easy way to do this is to make sure people can get done what they need to get done in a 40-hour week. I understand that’s not practical in every industry but I think a whole lot of businesses could try harder and don’t because they haven’t needed to with exempt workers.

              4. Retail HR Guy

                The only businesses forced to pay anyone any more money under the rule change would be those who have salaried employees working less than minimum wage when you do the math–which means someone worse off than making $23,660 salary while working more than 48 hours per week.

                For every single other situation, the employer could just start paying them hourly but lower their wage so that they are still making the same now as they did before.

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                1. fposte

                  Exactly. For most people this isn’t currently likely to change what they’re paid. Its biggest impact is going to be going forward.

            2. Alton

              Yeah, and let’s be honest: a lot of jobs that are taking advantage of people’s time like this are not jobs where the person is necessarily providing a vital function that requires them to be constantly available (and if someone really is in a role like that, they should probably be making more than 48k).

              My mom is a good example. She was a manager in a sales company. She never got a day off. Any time I went out to dinner with her, we’d be interrupted because she’d get calls about various trivial problems and questions. She was doing paperwork and e-mailing her boss well into the night. She had to go in to work when she had the flu. Was this vital work? Only in that the company was too greedy and lazy to hire more support staff/assistant managers. There’s no good reason that routine things should fall apart if a manager has a day off or can’t answer her phone for an hour. It’s not like she was a brain surgeon.

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          4. OlympiasEpiriot

            No, $48K in tulsa is not like $148K in NYC. I live in NYC. If I lived in Tulsa, I would have to add quite a bit more money for my travel choices. Living in NYC itself gives me more options than living in Tulsa would. In order to get access to those options I would have to spend more money and time travelling. (Like, for instance, even a relatively frivolous option like restaurants out…I’ve been in Tulsa, I had some great food, but, with the exception of the fantastic Mexican cuisine, I have to say it was pretty much all of one kind.)

            I liked Tulsa a lot, met some great people (was there for work) and I love the Great Plains geology and wildlife that isn’t too far away from there. But, I have to argue your claim about money and living standards from what I value.

            I wouldn’t move there just to get a garage.

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            1. De Minimis

              I’ve lived in Tulsa, making around 49k. Good starting salary for a single person with few debts and responsibilities, but I struggled to get by. It is in no way shape or form equivalent to 148k or even 100k anywhere.

              Tulsa is not that low cost of living for middle income people—I paid less in state income tax in CA, and didn’t have to pay sales tax on groceries. Plus almost every major highway in OK is a toll road.

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              1. OlympiasEpiriot

                I did not know that about the roads. Yeah, that would be an huge problem (not to mention having to have a car, another big expense, which I don’t have living in NYC due to extensive transit options even if we all complain about them). When I’ve visited, I’ve had to be mostly off highways. And they have sales tax on groceries? I’ve never lived anywhere in the US where that happened.

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                1. OlympiasEpiriot

                  In case anyone is interested, over at taxfoundation dot org I found this:

                  States that tax groceries (rate if not fully taxed): Alabama, Arkansas (3%), Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois (1%), Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri (1.225%), Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee (5.5%), Utah (1.75%), Virginia (1.5% + 1% local option tax), and West Virginia (5%).

                2. krysb

                  Sales tax on groceries is 8.25% – 8.75%, depending on county. Regular sales tax is a penny more. For lower-income people, that’s expensive.

            2. Gazebo Slayer (formerly I'm a Little Teapot)

              I’ve never lived in NYC or Tulsa, but I live in Boston on just over $30k and not needing a car makes an enormous difference. $148k in Boston is a practically unimaginable sum for me. Cost of living differences exist, but exaggerating them that much to prop up an anti-worker argument is dishonest.

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              1. Otra

                Where in Boston do you live? A friend of mine wants to relocate to Boston and we were looking for apartments together and they were about 2k for a one bedroom! At 30k a year, most of it would go to rent.

                Just curious to get some tips for my friend who is relocating!

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                1. Anon for this answer

                  Not Gazebo Slayer but I have a two-bedroom in Chelsea for 1550 with everything included but electricity. Just a short bus ride outside the city. Medford, Somerville (parts of – it’s getting more expensive), Everett – all good places to look when you’re on a budget.

            3. Trout 'Waver

              I agree, but in the opposite direction. For me, $48k living in Tulsa would be priceless in New York. I need my 2 acres and a garden and wildlife with a commute under 30 minutes to stay sane. You can’t buy that in New York or San Francisco no matter how much money you have. As you point out, people have different priorities and expectations. I agree you can’t peg it just on cost of living.

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          5. Honeybee

            First of all, the law doesn’t require anyone to pay all of their workers any amount. All it says is that if your workers work overtime, you must pay them for that time (time and a half) if they make over a certain amount of money. A worker who currently makes $30,000 and doesn’t make any overtime pay will still make $30,000. A worker who currently makes $30,000 and works an average of 5 overtime hours a week will make around $35,625 under the new law.

            There’s already an overtime salary threshold in place. The original goal of the salary threshold in the 1938 amendment to the FLSA was not a living wage or a bare minimum cost of living. It was supposed to represent a salary earned by professionals – “a rate befitting an executive or administrator.” The goal was to have overtime be the standard for most non-professional jobs while realizing the flexibility of hours and time that an executive or administrator would need.

            $23,660 does not reflect a salary that an executive or administrator would make in 2016, and it’s less than half the median salary in the United States today. $47,476 is much more reflective of something that a modern professional worker would make.

            Also, no, making $48,000 a year in a smaller city isn’t the same as making $148,000 in New York or Boston or LA. Even if you just looked at a straight-up cost of living calculator, making $48,000 a year in Little Rock is more like making $72,000 a year in Boston or $71,000 in Los Angeles, or $114,000 in New York (and that’s Manhattan. It’s about $88,000 in Brooklyn). Differences, yes, but not as stark as you think it is. And that’s only comparing prices of tangible objects and not taking into account the differences in lifestyle that drive up costs in smaller cities – like in New York or Boston, you may not need to own a car, whereas in Toledo or Tulsa or Little Rock you probably would have to.

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            1. fposte

              I think what’s happened is that the cultural meaning of exemption changed. Initially it was, roughly, you are so special and well-paid that the law doesn’t need to protect you.

              I haven’t found statistics for all workers in 1976, but it looks like nearly half of salaried workers were non-exempt in 1976; therefore it’s clear that most people in the workforce were non-exempt. In 2014, only 10% of salaried workers were non-exempt, so exemption became the norm where it really, under the initial intentions, shouldn’t have.

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          6. KH

            Whether you make 48k or 148k, isn’t overtime pegged to your hourly rate? So the law would have the same burden to a small business in the midwest or on the coast?

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        3. JessaB

          Alison’s friend and fellow blogger Evil HR Lady tackled this today also. She also reached out to Lawyer Jon Hyman who basically explained the problem. You can’t separate salary from the jobs test. I’d link to Jon’s site, but it’s being blown up by people looking at the link right now so here’s Evil HR’s post which includes the link. I suggest looking tomorrow.

          http://www.evilhrlady.org/2016/11/texas-court-blocks-47476-overtime-rule.html

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          1. Ric

            I disagree with the lawyer’s and the judge’s finding. All the rule does is update the salary level adjusted for inflation. The original rule had no adjustment. It had been static for decades. You can’t possibly defend paying a bona fide manager $26k a year regardless of region is appropriate. It didn’t separate salary from the duties test, nothing changes in that regard. It just simply corrects the salary for inflation for positions that have been deemed exempt by employers and employees meeting the duties test. As one business professor stated, you can’t honestly call someone a manager and pay them less than $40k a year.

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    1. Teresa

      I signed an agreement on a pay increase a week ago, then today went to work to receive a e-mail taking it away, now I feel that’s not right.

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    1. KarenT

      Even this Canadian is shocked! While it does not impact me at all as a non US reader, I’d become so familiar with this change due this blog.

      Reply
    2. ChrysantheMumsTheWord

      No kidding! We evaluated each position and ended up moving most of the affected employees to hourly (just made all of our changes on Monday in our timekeeping and payroll software, ugh) but we also changed a few salaries to get them over the limit (I’m optimistic that we will be able to keep these rates in place).

      Looks like I know what I’ll be working on next week!

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    3. HRChick

      It’s so frustrating! We JUST got through evaluating, dealing with the backlash from employees, communicating pay raises (we made it contingent on the FLSA regulations implementing on 1 Dec), and now we’re going to have to just WAIT again. And our employees are so frustrated with the back and forth.

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      1. Jadelyn

        Yep, same here. We just finished the communications this past week (we just moved everyone to hourly), and I was about to start inputting changes to the HRIS today, but I guess not now…? UGH.

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        1. HRChick

          I mean, I had to deal with tears, being yelled at, threats, you name it when I met with our employees. Accusations. Ugh.

          Now we have to wait. And if the regulations change again, I’m going to have to do it again! I was so happy just to be able to forward.

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          1. Jadelyn

            Threats? Wow. I should count my blessings that most of ours were pretty well-behaved, even if they were unhappy at being required to clock in and out going forward. :(

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          2. been there

            I had two workers that were affected by this and they both had the same reaction that they hated it – both for different reasons. One employee generally works more than 40 hours a week – NOT because I require him to – he never has a deadline he cannot meet and I don’t ask him to stay – I am also just fine with him leaving for appointments etc. I told him he needs to make sure he works 40 hours a week and no more and that he needs to track his time. He was mad because ‘the government is telling him how to do his job’. The other employee also NEVER works over 40 hours, does not read or answer e-mail or calls after hours, and has 3 kids so she has at least 1 appointment that she needs to leave early, come in late etc and usually it is more like 2 or 3 appointments – so exempt worked greatly in her favor. She hates it because she is now hourly and if she leaves at 1:30 pm on Tuesday she needs to either work longer some other time during the week or not be paid for it. Our company does not generally work our exempt (except at the highest level – and they are over the limit accordingly) people more than 40 hours a week so this change was just paperwork and ultimately cost to us with no huge change to our employees.

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    4. Retail HR Guy

      Sooooooo glad we waited until the ruling announcement yesterday before communicating our final decisions to our employees. Now all I had to do was write a single memo saying, in essence, “Y’all remember those anticipated changes? Never mind all that for now. Move along, nothing to see here.”

      Not that this gives us back all the hundreds of hours wasted on this.

      Reply
      1. HRChick

        What would you have done if there was no delay?

        We could not delay because our employees who were going to transition were moving from being paid forward to being paid in arrears and from being paid ~177 (?) hours a month to being paid biweekly for a total of 160 hours a month (10 months out of the year).

        If this had gone forward, it was going to severely affect their monthly income by a couple hundred dollars in most cases AND they were only going to be paid for 56 hours of work (if no overtime worked) for the WHOLE month of December. There was NO WAY we were going to delay telling them to prepare for that.

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        1. Retail HR Guy

          We would have enacted our plan. We already knew exactly who would be affected and how, we had the memos ready to go, the conference calls ready with groups of managers, our IT people, HRIS guy, and payroll people were on stand by to make the necessary changes as of Dec. 1, etc.

          I suppose part of the reason we could do that is because the plan wasn’t really going to negatively affect anyone overly much so no need for a lot of advance warning. Some salaried people were going to get converted to hourly with all the annoyances that entails, but no one was laid off, demoted, or had their pay or benefits cut, and more than a few would have received small raises. We could have (barely) afforded to take the hit to our labor budget if we scrimped elsewhere.

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        2. fposte

          Yeah, it took a lot of work for my employer to put this into action and figure it out, and since there are no legal consequences to retaining the changes, they’re going to do that for the foreseeable future. Fortunately as state people we’re pretty accustomed to dealing with the winds of governmental change.

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  1. Searching

    Oh man! My son was offered a raise as a result of the new rule and is either about to or has just signed a new lease based in part on the anticipated increase in take-home pay. If his employer pulls that raise back as a result of this injunction, it’s going to be tougher for him to make ends meet.

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    1. ThursdaysGeek

      Yeah, I suspect there will be a LOT of people in a similar situation. This can be very bad for a lot of people. And good for business owners.

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      1. Girasol

        There’s a lot of evidence that, although it’s counter-intuitive, raising minimum wage is good for business, particularly retail.

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        1. Gaia

          Yep. When people make more money, they spend more money. That is always good for business. In fact, the increased revenue often far exceeds their increased labor costs.

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        2. Lanon

          This is especially true when you’re talking about raising at the lower levels. Joe Schmoe in Ohio isn’t going to put his extra 2,50$ an hour into an offshore bank account when he gets that raise, he’s gonna spend it, in america, on stuff that he wants/needs but was previously too poor to afford.

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          1. Amadeo

            Not to mention employee retention. You keep the people you pay well enough for them to live reasonably even if sometimes they have to be careful. They will stay a little longer than they may have otherwise and you save on hiring costs too.

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            1. Martin

              I wonder how employees who’ve been offered a higher wage will feel when their employer says, “SIKE!” and take it back.

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          2. Gaia

            Not only will he spend that extra $250 but a good amount of research suggests he might spend an extra $300 because he feels more economically secure. People hoard money when they feel insecure (if they can, of course) but when they feel more secure, they are more likely to spend it.

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    2. Alano

      Well my family was in the opposite boat. He was basically going to have his management position taken away from him, have his pay cut, and the small business he works for was going to hire extra part time people to make up the slack. We’re jumping for joy that this economically illiterate law might get reversed.

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      1. Gaia

        While there were some people that wouldn’t benefit, a lot of people would have.

        At Old Company, many ‘managers’ earn around $33,000 a year and work 60 – 70 hour weeks. This law would have been a huge boon for them – no matter how it ended up impacting them.

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        1. Alano

          I agree some people will benefit and some will be hurt. But even if the company gives people raises that money has to come from somewhere. They have to lower other people’s wages, or raise prices, or have lower profits (and if profits go low enough, the whole business goes under). There’s not some magical vault somewhere where businesses can get this extra money.

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          1. LisaLee

            Well, the idea is that revenue will increase when people on the lower end of the income spectrum have some more disposable cash. But of course we would have to see if that actually played out.

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            1. sunny-dee

              It hasn’t with changes to minimum wage laws; while not impossible, I’d be surprised if this functioned really differently.

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                1. LarsTheRealGirl

                  Yes.

                  While long-used economic modeling shows negative (near term) effects of raises in minimum wage to companies, employment and production, the data coming out from states and areas that have raised the minimum wage shows that the assumed negative effects aren’t happening.

                  Mosts businesses increase costs, and do so at a much smaller proportion than the increase in wages (for example, a 10% increase in MW for food-related industries produces a 4% increase in prices, and about a 0.4% increase in non-food industries.) These price changes aren’t been shown to negatively impact the local economies.

                2. Manders

                  I live in one of those areas–it’s working fantastically here, and we’re having a bit of a bar and restaurant renaissance because people have more disposable income to spend on going out for food and drinks. It’s also going a long way towards correcting an income disparity that was making it very difficult for lower income workers to live in the city.

                  Our unemployment rate is one of the lowest in the country, and the big businesses in the area keep expanding. A few small businesses did go under, claiming the minimum wage was the problem, but most of them have been replaced by other businesses selling similar products at comparable prices.

                3. Gaia

                  Manders, I feel sorry for those small businesses that go under but I don’t feel sorry enough to say that they should be rewarded with success on the backs of poorly paid workers.

                  People before business. That’s my motto.

                4. Manders

                  @Gaia The owners of a pizza place near me threw a very public fit about how the minimum wage hike forced them out of business. Months later, their former store is now host to… a different pizza place that supported the minimum wage increase. The only difference is that the pizza tastes better and comes with a wider variety of toppings.

                  Maybe the increase did knock a few businesses that were already barely turning a profit out, but overall it does seem to be benefiting small businesses.

          2. Martin

            If the company had the funds to hire part-time people, they could have bumped your son’s pay. That the company he works for doesn’t value his time and labor like they should, doesn’t mean the law is economically illiterate.

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            1. Jadelyn

              +1000000000

              “Your employer made a shitty decision on how to handle your situation” does not equal “THIS LAW IS BAD”.

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      2. Natalie

        Why would anyone’s management position need to be “taken away” as a result of this? Your son’s company’s poor management reflects only on them, not on this rule change.

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        1. Alano

          It’s a small company that barely has enough money to stay afloat. There are hundreds of thousands of companies just like it all over the country. Laws like this drive struggling companies out of business. A lot ignorant people seem to assume that every company has 50% profit margins and can just magically absorb additional costs.

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          1. Jules

            I am just being rhetorical but why are we asking people to bootstrap themselves to success but companies should be protected at all cost?

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            1. orchidsandtea

              And while we’re being rhetorical, why is it shameful for a person to need foodstamps, but just good business for a company to pay fulltime workers so little they’re eligible for benefits?

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          2. Crazy Canuck

            If a company can’t stay profitable without exploiting it’s “managers” to work excessive hours for a salary that can work out to less than minimum wage, than that company shouldn’t be in business.

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            1. Allypopx

              These arguments are all for the lower end of the spectrum though. 35-40k is a really reasonable salary in parts of the country (not mine, but parts) and a living wage. It can be a hardship to businesses to increase that 20-30%, either through overtime or salary increase, or have to restructure the amount of hours worked and therefore how the business is run.

              There’s no perfect answer, but there’s a lot of people impacted by this law that by the standard of our culture 6 months ago were considered to be providing reasonable compensation for their employees (especially if their non-salary benefits are good), and are now being considered exploitative. You can’t just write off that those companies “shouldn’t be in business” when the standards for their business practice change rapidly and drastically.

              The law is great for people being genuinely exploited and that’s certainly a real problem but there’s a spectrum of issues here.

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              1. Silver Radicand

                But the key thing is that this rule doesn’t require a raise or larger salary. Only that overtime is paid time and a half (which also requires being paid at all for hours over 40 per week). So there is only an effective salary increase if that employee is working more than 40 hours. What is really being said by the rule is that folks making this low of a salary are not being compensated enough to justify them no longer being entitled to the right to payment (at time and a half) for hours above a 40 hour work week.

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              2. Honeybee

                They don’t have to raise anyone’s salary. If a person works consistent overtime on a regular basis, the employer could cut the worker’s base salary and then they make up the rest with overtime. For example, a person currently making $25,000 who regularly works 50 hours a week (10 hours of overtime) is making around $9.62/hour. Time and a half for 10 hours a week, 52 weeks a year is about $7,503.60. The employer could choose to cut that workers’ base salary to $17,496 a year; the additional 10 hours a week of overtime will bring the salary up to to the original amount.

                Frankly, though, if a person making $25,000 is working 50 hours a week consistently, then that small business owner should be considering whether their workload is reasonable and whether they need to hire another worker (part-time or full-time, depending) to support that role. And if a small business relies on multiple low-wage workers consistently working a lot of overtime in order to run and be profitable – maybe that business isn’t viable!

                I also don’t agree that these businesses were all operating with reasonable compensation under our culture. We simply hadn’t agreed yet as a society to raise the salary threshold, but I don’t agree that it’s reasonable for someone who makes $25,000 a year (and who is almost certain not an executive or administrative worker, which the law was intended for) to be working 50-60 hours a week and not making any overtime pay for it.

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                1. Allypopx

                  We simply hadn’t agreed yet as a society to raise the salary threshold

                  I mean we still kind of haven’t, clearly. I totally see where you’re coming from, but in my position for instance, I make somewhere in the middle of the old threshold and the new threshold, meet the duties test, and have a super generous benefits package, so I feel perfectly fine with my compensation. I work a lot of overtime but not 50/week…42 this week, 45 the next, whoops 60 that one week…it’s inconsistent, and hard to plan for, and lowering my base salary would make my paychecks inconsistent and my life hard to plan for.

                  Luckily my company isn’t doing that, but it has been a struggle, and a huge adjustment, and we’re bigger than some places that might be facing this. I’m glad that we’re having these discussions and I hope the threshold increases, I do. But we’re seeing stories in the threads here of people being screwed over as well, and with the uncertain limbo we’re in now I’m really worried about the impact on both people *and* employers, because the economy can be impacted by both.

              3. LBK

                Personally, I take this change as an attempt to combat the generally understood fact that the duties test for exemption is vague and very often violated without knowledge of either the employer or employee. Setting an extremely clear pay-based standard is a way to try and unambiguously cover people who probably should have been non-exempt all along and are improperly classified now.

                I find it very hard to believe there are a lot of jobs out there that meet the duties test for exemption, require 45-48 hours per week (how much you’d have to work to make 20-30% more from overtime) and have a genuine market rate of $35k. I can only see that being true in the most dirt-cheap COL areas in the country, and it’s wildly unfair and arguably unethical to make the rest of the country scrape to make ends meet because there’s 5% of the country that can do just fine with $35k.

                The only way I can see fixing this is to peg the rule and minimum wage to local cost of living, but that seems impractical and unlikely, so I think setting it closer to the average acros the board makes more sense.

                Reply
          3. Gaia

            I’m sorry Alano, but I object to the very notion that a real live human should be asked to work for wages that one cannot live on reasonably but a business that is struggling should be protected at all costs. That is utter crap and very wrong priorities.

            Reply
            1. LBK

              Completely agreed. We should not encourage and enable a business that requires exploiting its workers in order to survive. I understand that this will have a really bad extinction burst effect where a lot of small businesses that were hanging on by a thread will have to close, and it will put people who were at least making something before out of work. But I really believe that in the long run it will be better for everyone because while there may now be more businesses that will have to operate with razor-thin margins, at least the people working there will be getting their due instead of having to live their lives by razor-thin margins as well.

              This is similar to a lot of the complaints I hear about the ACA and how it’s increased premiums – it’s increased premiums because it outlawed behaviors that existed solely for the purpose of putting money in the insurance company’s pockets, like refusing coverage due to pre-existing conditions or kicking people off of their plan for using it too much. The purpose of insurance is to pay medical expenses; if the only way you can stay in business is by not paying some people’s medical expenses, that’s not a sustainable model.

              Reply
            2. AMM

              I actually somewhat disagree on this. I believe that people should not be “working poor” however it is very important for us to protect business. I am a Director of a Workforce board under WIOA and from my experience I can 100% say that business is a huge part of our economy and impacts a lot of factors. For example, if a company “goes under” and has more than 50 people, they can qualify for federal programs for retraining and employment opportunities for impacted workers. This federal program comes from tax payers. This is actually very costly. Another example, if a business believes it is too expensive to conduct business in the area, they will leave and create a ripple effect throughout. I have seen this so many times and what tends to happens is those affected workers have to compete against previous coworkers for other similar jobs. I have also seen plenty t take wage cuts just to find immediate employment. Lastly, and in my opinion the worst, individuals will go to for profit schools and obtain high student debt to change careers to make the same wage as before.

              Reply
          4. The Rat-Catcher

            I don’t think anyone is assuming that. But if your husband is having to work all that time to make ends meet, then they’re not employing enough people.

            Reply
            1. Honeybee

              Honestly, I had the same thought. If the business has to hire multiple part-time people to cover the extra overtime that this worker was not getting paid for, then they probably needed additional employees to begin with and/or needed to be paying him more (or both).

              Reply
      3. Honeybee

        That’s not the law’s fault, though; that is the fault of the way the employer chose to handle it. The employer could have decided to keep his pay the same or cut it slightly so that his average overtime brought it up to his original pay rate.

        Much like any changes to labor laws, some employers are going to adapt to the law in greedy ways that hurt their employees and then blame it on the law.

        Reply
    3. tink

      Yeah, my partner’s salary actually went down (they changed him from salaried to hourly), and I’m actually worried that it’s just going to stay that way? It’s not a huge financial burden, but it’s less money on what’s already our toughest paycheck of the month (the one where rent comes out).

      Reply
      1. Editrix

        That’s what my workplace was planning to do to me (salaried to hourly), which wouldn’t effectively change my pay, but overall the rule would be a HUGE detriment to my workplace and most like it, because of the rules about not being able to volunteer in the same area in which you also work. Churches would suffer immensely under this, because so many staff members are also (and were first) church members with a passion for their area of work, which is why they entered it in the first place – this rule has had us trying to figure out if we would be cancelling summer camps for the children and youth or somehow staffing them entirely with volunteers, because it’s not feasible to pay the staff who have previously run them OT for overnights for a full week. When you’re looking at that issue for multiple events over a year, it’s a major issue.

        Reply
        1. Honeybee

          But that rule has so much room for exploitation. I imagine a nonprofit who paid its lower-level employees in the $25,000 to $45,000 range – over the old threshold, but under the new. Let’s say these employees normally work 50-55 hours a week – that’s their expectation and basically requirement if they want to keep their jobs. Instead of complying with the spirit of the law in a variety of ways – aha! The nonprofit can just cut hours to 40 hours a week and then “strongly encourage” (aka require) their employees to “volunteer” an additional 10-15 hours a week of their time to their nonprofit.

          The new rule had to be included, otherwise so many workplaces would simply use that as a way around the overtime laws.

          Reply
          1. Editrix

            It does, but there should also be room for some exemptions like retreats and one-time events – the rule also torpedoed our yearly staff retreat, since the senior staff didn’t want to be doing it without the support staff and it’s not reasonable to pay all of the support staff overnight overtime for several days. It’s something we all looked forward to each year, which will now (if the rule does go into effect) either be cancelled or moved to some local stuffy conference room that we can commute to during the normal workday. We’d gotten very creative about managing rejuvenating, useful planning retreats within a tight church budget, and the overtime rule makes it impossible.

            Reply
            1. Ask a Manager Post author

              I might be misinterpreting what you’re saying here, but just in case not: No law in the U.S. requires you to pay people for sleeping time or other evening hours when they’re not working but are on a business trip.

              Reply
          2. AMM

            It’s actually illegal to have volunteers do work of an employee. Thus, having a worker volunteer hours would be a violation of FLSA.

            Reply
            1. Ask a Manager Post author

              Yes. Even nonprofits can’t have employees volunteer. The only exception is if a nonprofit employee is volunteering for work that’s totally different from her normal role.

              Reply
    4. Elizabeth the Ginger

      My school changed associate teachers from salaried to hourly to comply with the rule, starting in August with the start of the new school year – so that’s all set for the next year. It was a big change since they previously didn’t have to track hours. Since we’re all under contract for the school year nothing will change this year – but if the law doesn’t wind up taking effect I wonder what will happen for the next school year.

      Reply
        1. Elizabeth the Ginger

          This group* was somehow deemed not to be – I’m not sure of the exact logic but assume the decision was made with the advice of the school’s lawyers.

          *My school calls them “associate teachers” though I’ve heard other names for similar roles at other schools. They are not the main teacher in the classroom and are not in charge of curriculum, report card writing, or other major decisions, though they may give input on these. They’re all at the start of their teaching careers and some are concurrently in teacher training programs in the evenings. After a couple years they move on to lead teacher roles, usually elsewhere (especially because we don’t have fast turnover among our lead teachers). So something about that makes them not necessarily exempt, I guess.

          Reply
          1. Stitch

            Ah! We call those Instructional Assistants here, at least with more or less the same description. They make around the current salary threshold, (~20k/9 months – in a HCOL area, FWIW) but I didn’t hear of any salary changes, so I guess my county still considers them an exception. I could definitely see them moving to hourly if they had to, though – there’s no way they’d be able to change the budget enough to pay them double the current amount, however sucky that may be.

            Reply
      1. Sunshine

        That doesn’t seem fair. Everyone thought it was a done deal, especially this close to 12/1. Who could have seen this coming?

        Reply
        1. Cass

          I partially disagree. I feel bad for the commentor’s son, for sure. But it seemed clear that this new regulation could always be a little rocky, being an executive action rather than a legislative one. (I don’t want to get into anything politically as per the guidelines, but it’s my understanding these regulations can be changed quite easily by any new president.)

          Reply
          1. Jeff

            The change wasn’t carried out through executive order. The president directed the Labor Department to consider the new rule, which is in the realm of administrative law.

            Reply
          2. Honeybee

            Not everyone is as politically or legally savvy. A lot of people believed that the change was due to legislative action – especially since a lot of people were calling it a “law.” I’m not surprised a lot of people didn’t realize it could be stayed.

            Reply
        2. Retail HR Guy

          Not that everyone should be expected to pay as close attention to this as those in HR, but the lawsuits and potential injunction were well-publicized and the judge did say that he would have a decision on the injunction by 11/22/16. So no, not everyone thought it was a done deal.

          Reply
      2. Natalie

        You’re kind of mean! Neat.

        No job is ever guaranteed to start or even to continue. And yet, we all need to sign leases and take out mortgages and make other financial commitments.

        Reply
          1. Jinx

            It’s not fair to blame the people at the bottom for that, though. Sure a lot of people bought things they couldn’t afford pre-2007, but the banks pulled some seriously sketchy shenanigans to get those mortgages out the door.

            Reply
          2. Honeybee

            This is not really how the housing bubble originally popped at all. It was because people were borrowing at rates that exceeded what they could afford even in their current jobs. Many got risky adjustable-rate mortgages when the Fed rate was low and then couldn’t afford their mortgage after the rate shot up a few years later – but they also couldn’t sell because they were underwater on their mortgage.

            Reply
      3. Crazy Canuck

        Taking this argument to it’s logical extreme, no one should ever take on any long-term financial burden, because due to at-will employment, anyone could get fired tomorrow for no reason.

        Reply
      4. Searching

        Oh come on, Anonhippopotamus, that kind of snide comment is unwarranted! He works for a large organization that has been working for months implementing this change. He had no reason to believe greater forces were in play that might prevent the law from being implemented with the effective date less than 10 days away – plenty of folks (even Alison) were very surprised by this development. And if you read carefully, I wrote “in part” – the anticipated pay increase was not the only deciding factor. He doesn’t know yet whether or not his employer will pull things back – those same preparations that took his organization so long to implement may be just as difficult to roll back at this stage.

        Reply
      5. The Rat-Catcher

        That’s unfair. A lot of people were told by their employers that This Was Happening (which is what the employers thought as well). Even Alison stated that this move was out of left field.

        Reply
  2. Basiorana

    I already signed a letter for my HR file bumping my salary up. My company is generally reasonable, do you think they will rescind that?

    Reply
    1. Fortitude Jones

      One division in my company just promoted up a bunch of employees so they could stay exempt, employees they wouldn’t have promoted otherwise – whoops. My company doesn’t take away titles, so I suspect these folks will keep them and the salary bump they received, but just won’t get another promotion/raise any time soon.

      Reply
      1. AnAppleADay

        That is the same where I work. It’s frustrating because we have thousands of employees. Part of my job involves payroll and we had just completed everything we needed to be in compliance by December 1. It was a lot of work.

        Reply
    2. Itsa Me

      We’re in the same position at my company. I just received an offer letter bringing my wages up to the threshold so that I can remain exempt, and my direct reports are all set to go hourly on 12/1. We’ve even created new support positions to help people manage their workload in 40 hours so this is huge. I’m very curious as to whether we will reverse these decisions or move forward since we’re already set up for this change.

      Reply
    3. ThatGirl

      My husband had just gotten things worked out at his job with a small salary bump and conversion of his job to 10 months (he works at a college, staff position). So I really wonder what they’re gonna do. My guess is just move him back to 12 months with the same (below the threshold) salary.

      Reply
  3. Alison Read

    Not a huge surprise. I agree there will be a modified version.

    I am curious how businesses are going to handle offered raises. We’re going to need a web site to track that alone!!!

    Reply
  4. ephemia

    Wow, good to know. My workplace just moved a ton of people from salary to hourly because of the changes (and we now know who makes above the overtime threshold…).

    Reply
    1. neverjaunty

      I can’t find the original filing, but I would guess they rushed in with the request for an injunction right after the election.

      Reply
        1. Creag an Tuire

          Because filing it sooner would’ve given the current administration time to potentially tweak the regulations to pass muster? If your objective is to kill the regulation stone dead, this was perfect timing.

          Reply
    2. HR Empress

      Obama made a request in March 2014 for the DOL to find a way to make more people eligible for more money/overtime. There was a proposed rule released, followed by a comment period which garnered 293,000 comments and the final rule was released this past May. The final rule provided a much longer transition time than the historic 90-120 days when other changes have been made. My humble opinion is the December 1st date was intended to get everything in place before a new administration.

      Reply
  5. coffee and mountains

    We just adjusted our people to be compliant last week. My employee went non-exempt instead of a salary bump, and its been a mess. can they change him back?

    Reply
  6. Christie

    Wow, I work for a non-profit and was switched to hourly in July in anticipation of the upcoming change in December. I HATE the change and totally hope it is rolled back. Can you recommend any other sources where I can get in-depth, reliable information on this subject? I want to make sure my company’s HR and higher-ups stay informed too…

    Reply
  7. Gaara

    What I hope doesn’t happen is that the people who took pay cuts but remained hourly keep those pay cuts! Like, their total compensation was to remain the same. But now they can remain exempt and would take home less while working the same overtime.

    Reply
  8. Fluke Skywalker

    Jesus Christ. I JUST signed my HR papers to reclassify me as hourly. After months of trying to get an answer from my employer. I was actually looking forward to being hourly and having some of my life back, getting to leave at a reasonable hour, not being expected to answer emails on vacation, etc. Sigh.

    Reply
    1. Lemon Zinger

      I went hourly as of Monday. I would not be surprised if we are soon presented with new paperwork, reclassifying us as salaried, and requiring us to work whenever they want.

      This is so bad.

      Reply
  9. Teclatrans

    Well, shoot. This was a core pillar of the negotiating strategy I am developing for an anticipated job offer. Hrmph.

    Reply
  10. april

    I wasn’t looking forward to a ton of new administrative duties when it came to managing my staff and their schedules, but I was set to get a raise that I really could have benefited from. I’m relieved and bummed.

    Reply
        1. Jinx

          Yeah, this seems like really bad organization. Why don’t they provide a window AFTER it becomes a done deal for businesses to become compliant? Why give a hard date if it could still be overturned? This could be rough for business and employers while it gets sorted out.

          Reply
          1. TCO

            I think it still could have been overturned anytime after it took effect, so there’s no reason to add in an extra waiting period. The judge issued this temporary halt because he knew that should he decide that the law should be overturned, it would be a lot harder to roll back changes after they took effect.

            Reply
          2. Honeybee

            Any legislation or executive order can be challenged at any time. The original consideration began in 2014 and the final rule was announced in May of this year. It was as close to a done deal as any piece of executive action or legislation can get. Companies had nearly 7 months to get themselves in order.

            By the same logic, Congress (nationally or in your state) can pass a law, and then someone can sue and the judge can grant a stay. That person can sue 6 months before the law takes effect, or one month, or a year after. Companies can’t always wait to see what’s going to happen if they want to remain in compliance.

            Reply
  11. smokey

    And there’s nothing keeping employers from rescinding raises they give, correct? My raise for this was supposed to go into effect on Monday. But they did word the letter very specifically to say it was just because of the law.

    Reply
    1. Zip Silver

      I reckon that employers who have already made the switch aren’t going to go back right away, and those that were waiting until this week or next will stay as-is.

      My new salary went into effect yesterday, and I know there are several people who made the transition to hourly non-exempt. They might go back and undo all the work they put into it, but I doubt it’ll happen overnight, especially in a company with 10,000 employees in the US

      Reply
      1. smokey

        I suspect they’ll just kinda not implement ours, since it hasn’t actually happened yet. I don’t know how all that works, though. My company is also gigantic but I think very few us were actually below the threshold.

        Reply
    2. Chris

      Which just as a side note is kind of a slap in the face. A letter like that says ‘we would pay you less if the law allowed us to’. As a manager you’re supposed to take opportunities like that to recognize people’s value and steer them towards further growth. Literally does not matter why you have to increase… an increase should always be used as an opportunity for review and goal setting.

      Reply
      1. smokey

        They handled it Really badly, even in addition to the wording in the letter.

        But now I fully expect to have a new letter Monday saying they’re taking it back. Which is probably good overall for a few reasons, although I was going to enjoy the money.

        Reply
    3. Ask a Manager Post author

      That’s correct — there is nothing to stop employers from rescinding the raises they’d given in order to comply with this.

      Some employers will rescind them. Others may not. Please let us know what yours does — I think we’re in really weird territory here where it’ll be helpful to hear how various employers are handling things.

      Reply
      1. Rebecca

        My employer reclassified people by job title. If anyone in a particular job title would be made non-exempt, all people in that job title are to become non-exempt as of next Monday. I’d be very surprised if they take it back and I become exempt again. Fortunately, it makes no functional difference to my job, other than being paid weekly instead of monthly.

        Reply
        1. Sunshine

          This is what we did, also – changed by job title/duties. A large portion of my staff was moved from salary to hourly (and I spent the last 2 days in 1:1 conferences explaining it to them). Today will be interesting.

          Reply
          1. Rebecca

            Hah, I wish we had that. I was handed a formal letter from way up high explaining the changes, and then received an “as you already know” email about related timesheet procedures that I didn’t “already know” about. (I hate “as you already know” or “just a reminder” emails about things I’m hearing about for the first time.)

            Reply
      2. Meg

        I work in higher ed and was involved in this process. We’ve issued a bunch of raises over the past few months, all set to go into effect Dec. 1, and my boss has already talked to our president to strongly recommend that we honor these raises. I really hope that’s what happens!

        Reply
        1. Lemon Zinger

          What do you think will happen to the people who went from salaried to hourly? I work in higher ed too, and I’m trying to get a sense of whether they’ll switch us back again or not.

          Reply
          1. Cass

            Same here – higher ed, went from salaried to hourly. I have no inside knowledge whatsoever, but its my feeling that they will continue on with the plan as if the new law had taken effect.

            Reply
          2. Kay

            I’m also in higher ed (state school) and just read that effective immediately, no changes will be processed until further notice. I’m not sure what that means for the changes they have already processed.

            Reply
      3. RR

        We made recent salary adjustments to our staff who are currently exempt but whose status would have been been changed to non-exempt. Affected staff were right on the cusp, so the changes were not huge. We are not planning to rescind these modest increases at the moment. [We are a non-profit]

        Reply
      4. T

        Just heard from the HR person who has been spearheading communication about FLSA at our University – since the University thinks the injunction will be appealed by the DOJ, everything will continue as planned. We haven’t gotten the “official” notice yet, but we were informally told that right now we should “stay the course.”

        Reply
      5. Angela

        I’m late to this party, but this resulted in a raise for one of my reports and they are not rescinding. I was worried about having him not be able to work overtime and have to keep track of his hours (plus I fought to offer him more when we hired him- and lost), so things have turned out ok so far for us.

        Reply
    4. BestInShow

      It varies by state. I know my state requires 30 days written notice to lower wages. I looked that up when they lowered my job offer by 15k the day before I started. Since they had not started paying me yet it was perfectly legal.

      Reply
  12. Cam

    Wow, this is really unexpected. I guess we’re going to be seeing a lot of letters next week about rescinded raises and employers otherwise managing to handle this really badly. Good luck to those of you affected by this.

    Reply
  13. Mimmy

    Wow I did not see that coming! And so close to the effective date too. I can see from the posts thus far that this is already eliciting mixed reactions from both employers and employees.

    The threshold was long overdue to be raised, but going from $23,000 to $47,000 (I know those aren’t the exact figures) was too big a jump in too little time. If anything happens, I can see one of two scenarios: the threshold being decreased or sticking with the $47,000 threshold but phasing it in over a few years.

    Reply
    1. krysb

      Really, if you think about it, businesses have had 40 years to prepare for the jump, since it’s just a change from 1977 levels to 2016 levels. Businesses have not made it a priority to keep employee pay up to inflationary standards. I think that has a lot to say of how we Americans treat businesses and employees.

      Reply
      1. LBK

        Agreed. The number of companies that are scrambling to figure out how the meet the regulation just shows how many companies have been operating with zero thought about fair compensation for their employees.

        Reply
    2. Honeybee

      I also see a lot of exemptions happening, especially since the hue and cry seems largely about small businesses. Unlike a lot of other laws for businesses FLSA applies to businesses based on revenue and not size. So I see them maybe implementing size requirements (like this rule only applies to businesses with 50 or more employees) and perhaps exempting religious organizations (per an earlier comment).

      Reply
  14. PayrollLady

    We’ve been scrambling to re-define roles and most have already been transitioned by now. Ugh…payroll is exhausting!

    Reply
  15. eplawyer

    This is surprising. I am not sure when this ever happened before. Wonder if this is the same judge who blocked Obama’s immigration plan and ordered the DOJ lawyers to an ethics class (gotta love Texas sometimes).

    Just an FYI — one of the considerations for the granting of an injunction is “likelihood of prevailing at trial.” No one is going to grant an injunction if they didn’t think there was a real problem. Although “get an injunction” gets thrown around a lot, getting one is really hard.

    Reply
  16. Cnon

    From the piece:

    Dozens of business groups and 21 state attorneys general challenged the overtime rule in federal court.

    My take: WOW

    Reply
    1. neverjaunty

      The US Chamber of Commerce – which is not the same as your local chamber of commerce – has gobs of money to buy political support, so not surprising.

      Reply
    2. Gaia

      And waited until the last possible minute to do so, negatively impacting a lot of people. But hey, I’m sure this is all for the good of the American public, amirite?

      Reply
      1. Quantum Mechanic

        Actually, the lawsuit has been going on for months and months.

        The judge felt he’d be unable to make a ruling by the deadline and so issued an injunction to preserve the status quo until he rules.

        Reply
        1. Gaia

          Mid September, actually. That is not “months and months” that is less 3 months before it is supposed to begin when we all knew what was going to happen for over a year.

          Reply
          1. Bartlett for President

            In fairness, you can’t challenge a law before it exists. Additionally, their challenge would need to be based on the specific rule’s language, and not the general concept of the rule. So, the starting gun was really the date it became law (or, at most a couple weeks in advance).

            The rule language had to be analyzed, and then the lawyers have to decide which argument to go with, and then file everything. That doesn’t happen overnight. Additionally, because this is a consolidated case from 20+ individual lawsuits, some time is required to organize and decide that.

            I think this is a horrible development, personally. Horrible, but not terribly last minute – filing in Sept. is pretty quick; some of the initial cases may very well have been filed prior to Sept. The first case isn’t always the one that the rest are consolidated into.

            Reply
              1. Emi.

                Okay, but you can’t challenge a rule until it goes into effect or is close to it. My school had a lawsuit (over a different rule) thrown out on the grounds that it wasn’t going into effect until the next academic year, so what are you even complaining about?

                Reply
                1. NP

                  Yes you can. You can challenge it as soon as it is issued. It happens ALLLLLL the time. Signed: someone who works with federal agencies to rewrite rules that have been challenged before going into effect.

                2. Observer

                  Right, but the actual rule that is being challenged hasn’t been around “for years” it was only finalized a few months ago. And, until that happened, it wasn’t possible to sue.

                3. NP

                  Observer, I agree with you. I was responding to Emi’s assertion that you cannot challenge a rule until it goes into effect or is close to it. You can challenge as soon as a final rule is published. When a rule goes into effect after it is published depends on the rule (sometimes 30 days, sometimes 60, sometimes 6 months like with this rule, sometimes years). Many, many, many rules with effective dates far in the future get challenged shortly after publication but long before those effective dates.

                4. Gaia

                  They could have in May. Or June. Or July. Or August. And we wouldn’t be here, 10 days before it is set to start, after businesses spent months and countless amounts of man hours figuring out the change, with it being halted.

                  Instead, they waited until the last minute to file to get an answer before it went into place. Let’s not pretend this wasn’t calculated.

                5. Honeybee

                  @Gaia – They couldn’t file until the final rule was announced and they had time to analyze the language and plan their strategy, though. They filed the lawsuit in September, which was just 4 months after the rule was announced. Government moves slowly. Expecting them to file it within a few weeks after the rule was formally announced is a bit unrealistic. And the states who filed the lawsuit had no reason to that the judge would even grant them a stay in the case – it seemed to be a toss-up before today.

      2. Zip Silver

        To be fair, the 21 states are the ones that would be most negatively affected. While large businesses and the wealthier coasts can better absorb something like this, the interior of the country will have a harder time doing so. It behooves states to protect their economies.

        And, not to ignite any sort of political discussion, but politics in the country are really, when you boil it down, rural versus urban, or coastal versus interior.

        Reply
        1. Gaia

          Actually, it doesn’t have to cost any business anything.

          If a company regularly requires overtime, they aren’t employing enough people. The point of overtime laws is to keep employers from underhiring and requiring workers to do the job of more than one person. I bet there are a lot of ways these employers could simply be more efficient. And, if not, then they need to hire more people. If they can’t afford to hire enough people to get the job done, they can’t stay in business. Thems the brakes.

          Reply
      3. Observer

        Actually, the sued almost as soon as the new rule was finalized.

        You could also ask why it took so long to finalize the rule, and put it into place.

        Reply
        1. NP

          There is always a lag between when a final rule is published and when it becomes effective. For most administrative rules, this is often 30 or 60 days. For those that require regulated entities to make significant changes to processes or procedures, it can be significantly longer, sometimes even years. Some are also phased in over a period of time. It looks like this rule provided for a 6 month lag time to allow businesses to determine how to respond and get their payroll systems in order, which seems pretty reasonable.

          Reply
        2. LBK

          There’s a purposeful gap between approval and implementation any time a change like this occurs so that companies have time to adjust. It would be complete chaos if they had announced the rule change and said “starting today all of your workers making under $48k are non-exempt, good luck to your payroll department.”

          Reply
          1. Observer

            I’m aware of that. However, this administration has been in office for 8 years. Beyond that, the department announced their intention to make a rule a long time before they released it. Each phase, up till the actual promulgation of the final rule was longer than it had to be. And, it could be argued that the time from promulgation and taking effect should have either been a bit shorter or much longer.

            To be honest, I don’t think the delay here was any more purposeful than the delay on the part of the suing parties. Furthermore, for all the screaming, I don’t think that the suing parties gained much if it really was calculated. Lets face it, the injunction would not have happened if the judge didn’t think that there was some significant merit that really needed serious consideration. Doing this earlier could have resulted in ot just an injunction, but a total overturning.

            Reply
  17. Jeanne

    I’m not surprised. I’ve learned not to be surprised by anything that lowers pay. For so long we’ve been told we’re just lucky to have a job at all. Don’t expect a decent wage or hours or anything. And companies have spent time and money complying which may now be wasted. The only way to get a wage and benefits is to run for congress.

    Reply
    1. Beautiful Loser

      I agree, I suspect my company knew all along this was going to happen as I am classified as exempt and make under the new threshold and have heard nothing regarding reclassification or increase.

      The attitude is we are lucky to have jobs at all while we watch them move overseas and wait for our turn to be let go.

      Reply
    2. Oh no, not again

      I’m not surprised, either. A lot of employers operate on the notion that employers are entitled to work their employees as much as possible and pay as little as possible.

      Reply
    3. Gazebo Slayer (formerly I'm a Little Teapot)

      Yup. They’re using the time-honored “reserve army of labor” tactic – point to the unemployed and say “At least you have a job, so you have nothing to whine about, you entitled loser.” It’s also an incentive for crappy employers and their political stooges to avoid full employment – the more people are out of work, the more effective this tactic is.

      Reply
  18. Anon 2

    I suspect most half way decent employers have either instituted the changes or they are too far in the process to go back now.

    However, it doesn’t shock me.

    Reply
  19. Gaia

    While it doesn’t impact me, I wonder what will happen to those that were offered raises based on this. I’m sure it will vary from employer to employer but people may have made decisions based on this going into effect.

    I don’t think it is right to be changing course this late in the game. This has been out there for a long time, if they wanted to fight it out they should have brought it to the courts a LONG time ago.

    Reply
    1. Alano

      They probably filed the lawsuit back in May or June shortly after the Dept. of Labor issued the final rule. In fact, since there are dozens of states and business groups challenging the law, there were probably many lawsuits filed, and then the courts had to figure out when and where to consolidate all those cases. Believe it or not, six months is pretty fast to get a decision like this. The courts handle many cases and move very slowly. If you want to blame anyone, blame the bureaucrats who created such a narrow window for implementing the law. The lawyers at the Dept. of Labor knew full well how long it would take the legal challenge to snake its way through the federal court system, and they could have easily set the rule to go into effect in Dec. 2017, but they didn’t.

      Reply
      1. Gaara

        The court could have moved faster for sure. I know courts are often slow, but that doesn’t excuse them from the consequences of their slowness, and this was predictable. It didn’t take *that* much work for the judge to decide to issue the injunction. (And I’m a lawyer. I get their normal speed, really.)

        Reply
          1. Alano

            The federal statutes provide a timeframe for challenging an agency rule in court. You can’t just magically assemble a coalition of states and business groups – that can take a few months. As long as they filed the lawsuit within the timeframe set by statute, I find it hard to blame plaintiffs. I think it’s more reasonable to blame the judge, but I’d have to see how long it took to consolidate the cases and for the parties (including the US) to brief the injunction motion.

            Reply
      2. Honeybee

        6 months is a narrow window? They can’t make the window dependent upon whether or not people decide to maybe sue them and then whether or not the judge will maybe stay the rule.

        Reply
  20. Tara

    Anyone know of any analysis guessing how long this will play out? We sent out letters TODAY, but I’m not confident my higher-ups will uphold them now, they were not happy about it.

    (Personally I think too many of our younger researchers get overworked for what they’re paid, so I thought it was a good change, forcing the culture to shift. I doubt they will now.)

    Reply
    1. Anon 2

      I don’t know of any professional analysis. But, some of this depends on what Trump does when he takes office. If he repeals the rule, then it will be settled in a few months. If he doesn’t then it wouldn’t surprise me if it goes on for a long time.

      Reply
  21. Searching

    Here is the judge’s opinion and injunction order in case you want to read the details: http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3224326-Nevada-v-US-Overtime-Injunction.html#document/p1

    I tried to read it, but not being an attorney, it’s pretty dense. The crux appears to be that the judge agreed with the plaintiffs that the Department of Labor in setting the new threshold “exceeds its delegated authority and ignores Congress’s intent by raising the minimum salary level such that it supplants the duties test.”

    Reply
  22. Alano

    It could vary. If the Obama administration wants to, it can immediately appeal the injunction to the 5th Circuit. The 5th Circuit is pretty conservative and is likely to affirm the district court’s decision – of course, by then you’re probably well into January (even if the 5th Circuit expedites the appeal), and there’s a decent chance that the Trump administration will reverse this rule all on its own since the 48k threshold is likely to have such a negative impact on rural businesses. I think at the least it’ll be late January before there’s more clarity – but it may be later.

    Reply
  23. Nervous Accountant

    This is so interesting!

    In August I was given an increase 6x what I was expecting, as part of my annual review. There was no mention of the law, just that this % increase was for all my hard work.

    This brought my salary up to above that 47k limit….the raise went into effect in September…i doubt my employer would rescind it but oh gosh. I’m waiting to see what happens!!!

    Reply
  24. AnAppleADay

    Ugh!!! They have no clue as to how much time and money involved to bring a large organization with thousands of employees up to date to be in compliance by December 1!

    Reply
    1. Emmie

      Exactly! And the communications to employees, the decisions among leaders, the budgeting decisions, whether to lay off individuals, the stress, and brainstorming how to minimize the impact on employees payroll during the holidays, etc….

      Reply
    2. Honeybee

      Of course they do – that’s why they originally gave 6 months between when the rule was announced and when the rule was supposed to be in place. The legal process is similarly slow.

      Reply
  25. Lanon

    My friend’s company laid off about 20% of staff and raised the others above the new threshold, and then required them to do the work the other 20% had been doing. Now, they’ve rescinded the raises, but they’re keeping the 20% laid off.

    Well done, America.

    Reply
  26. Anonish

    Ugh. My raise is decided by a board which is meeting in December. It was looking like I was going to be NE for December and then get a significant raise for 2017. C’est la vie…

    Reply
  27. Elizabeth

    I just read through the decision. It is pretty plain language for a federal court decision. There appear to be 2 main issues. First is whether or not the DoL has the authority to set a threshold wage, something that has never been at issue before. Second is the automatic update to the threshold based upon the 40th percentile. That’s never been tried.

    The injunction is because the judge needs more time to work through the legal issues surrounding the latter.

    I’m guessing that the long-term decision will be that the threshold wage will be allowed to stand, while the automatic update will be struck down. It will be difficult to argue that a threshold wage is inappropriate or unconstitutional when one has been in place for around 40 years without being challenged.

    Reply
    1. Searching

      I’m wondering what percentage of those performing EAP duties were classified as exempt when the current $23K threshold was put in place. In the Inc article that was linked somewhere in this thread, Employment lawyer Jon Hyman explains that this case hinged on the fact that the “new, higher salary level improperly swallows the rest of the exemption test and makes salary alone dispositive on the issue of exemption qualification.” That argument doesn’t make sense to me.

      Reply
    1. Retail HR Guy

      Or that it pays to be strategic. We knew about the lawsuits and the potential injunction (as would anyone tracking this issue in the news) and held off communicating final decisions accordingly. We had everything ready to go either way the judge decided.

      I’m frankly surprised at all these comments talking about changes being finalized on Monday, the day before the judge’s announcement was due. What were you thinking, HR peoples out there?!

      Reply
  28. Emily

    My company thought the law had already been pushed back, so hadn’t moved forward with any raises/reclassifications. Looks like they won’t need to now. I’m over the threshold, but I’m sure a lot of our employees aren’t, and we do work a lot of extra hours when deadlines get tight.

    Reply
  29. jstarr

    Too late for me and mine in our office. Academic teapots ltd made a mess of our payroll and we’ll have to just deal, apparently. I liked the law, our institution just screwed us over on the change over. :(

    Reply
  30. Jamey

    It would be foolish for companies to immediately rescind raises and such because at the moment, this is only a delay and not a cancellation of the new rule. It would be foolish to do all the work to have people comply, rescind it immediately and then have to do that work again if it ends up going through several months from now. Even employers who do want to rescind would be wise to wait and see how the ruling actually ends up going before they make any decisions.

    Reply
    1. Mimmy

      That’s kinda what I’m wondering – can companies who already made changes based on the new law continue with their plans? I would hope so since it’s just a DELAY – I would hate to see people who have made decisions based on the new rules going into affect on 12/1 get screwed over if companies decide to change everything back. Sorry if this comment comes across as uninformed.

      Reply
      1. Elsajeni

        If the rule doesn’t change, employers wouldn’t have to undo any of the changes they’ve made or planned to make — you can treat people as non-exempt and pay them for overtime even if their job meets the duties and salary tests to be exempt, so people who have been switched to non-exempt status can stay that way, and if employers gave people raises to put them above the new salary cutoff or hired new staff to help spread out work and minimize overtime hours, of course they’re free to go ahead with those changes. But, they also won’t be required to keep those changes, and in a lot of cases they’ll be motivated to undo them, since they involve paying out more compared to what they were doing before.

        Reply
    2. Student

      It’s pretty reasonable to expect the incoming administration team to rescind the rules in late January. If the incoming administration rescinds the rule, odds are also pretty good they won’t make enforcement of the rule for the ~month it might be in effect a priority. A lot of companies will just bet they can get away with noncompliance, or maybe get by with giving a small, temporary “holiday bonus” to workers that are impacted for the short time the rule might be in effect.

      Reply
    3. Lanon

      Trump has already announced that ALL of Obama’s executive orders will be cut very quickly. And the Republicans in the Senate have made cancelling the reclassification order a top priority, so expect them to go out first thing in January.

      Reply
  31. Karen K

    We supposedly went hourly on Sunday, 11/20, but I don’t think the actually paperwork has been done yet, i.e., our manager has to enter our time manually for this week. Starting Monday, 11/28, we would have started swiping in to record our hours.

    I’m a bit torn, honestly. I wasn’t looking forward to “punching a time clock,” metaphorically speaking, after being exempt for many years, but I was looking forward to cashing out some of my excess PTO, which is a perk only available to non-exempt employees. The new law made no difference to my pay, and I rarely get overtime.

    There’s been nothing said from my administration or HR about this as of yet.

    Reply
  32. Anon Again

    My biggest concern right now is for those people who were moved from salary to hourly, but had their hourly wage changed so that the employer could pay overtime, but not increase person’s salary. I can see more than one unethical employer opting to keep the hourly wage, but switching people back to salary and providing a pay cut.

    And it doesn’t shock me at all. Just look at the states doing the suing:

    Texas, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Iowa, Maine, New Mexico, Mississippi, and Michigan.

    Aside from them being all southern or mid-western states with low cost of living, low minimum wages, they have one other thing in common.

    Reply
    1. Allypopx

      Mm…Maine is neither Southern nor Midwestern and split their electoral college votes. Maine IS a state with an incredibly high concentration of small businesses, who are probably freaking out about such a drastic change. The whole thing is a mess and I agree with you about the opening for unethical responses but it’s a complicated issue.

      Reply
      1. Case of the Mondays

        Maine is a state with an “out there” governor. Please trust me that I am not breaking Allison’s no partisan politics rule here. I used to live in Maine and it has a really interesting political history. First they had an “out there” democratic governor that made Bernie Sanders look conservative. Long before Obama did it, that governor was trying to open trade between Maine and Cuba. Now they have an “out there” republican governor. He is frequently on the national news for saying horrendously offensive things. The only reason these “out there” governors keep getting elected is because Maine also has 4 or so “normal” independent candidates run each year and the majority of the populace splits their votes among the 4. If they just had 1 independent, the independent would win. But they don’t, so one of the “out there” candidates wins by the fringe vote. It’s really interesting but tough to live there and watch.

        Reply
        1. Allypopx

          Yes, I am from Maine too, I know. I don’t live there now, but CurrentGovernor ran in one of the first elections I was eligible to vote in. But that’s really beside the point. Southern Maine, which has a tendency to be socially moderate-leaning-liberal and fiscally moderate-leaning-conservative, is very much a place of mom-and-pop shops that are easily rocked by economic waves. Maine also has an incredibly low unemployment rate right now (L.L. Bean can barely staff themselves for the holidays) and those small businesses having to cut staff or change their operating procedures could change that. This is certainly causing them a lot of stress, especially going into the holidays.

          Reply
        2. Gazebo Slayer (formerly I'm a Little Teapot)

          Yeah, Maine’s governor is hardcore far-right, as well as being a loony loose cannon. (When a state legislator told him a speech he’d given was racist, which it was, he left a ranting voicemail full of obscenities in which he yelled that he wished it were 1825 so he could shoot the legislator in a duel. Really.)

          Reply
      1. Honeybee

        Iowa and Michigan are swing states too, and New Mexico went Democratic this election.

        I’m not doubting that partisan politics has something to do with this, but I think these are also states with lots of small business and/or lower costs of living and thus lower overall salaries, thus higher numbers of workers who would be directly impacted by this rule.

        Reply
  33. WorkerBee23

    I was above the threshold but made an hourly employee (as of next week) due to the overall effects of this law. I just started this job last month – I came in as salaried – so I was not looking forward to the change as all hourly employees here, regardless of actual pay, are treated like children. They are VERY strict in terms of exactly how many minutes your lunch should be & how many hours you work per week (no OT). What a pain in the A for nothing!

    Reply
    1. CS Rep By Day, Writer By Night

      Same here, except I was below the threshold. In addition, being made hourly means I lost all of my flexibility to work from home and manage my own time, as well as having a couple of benefits that were only available to salaried employees taken from me. My company has handled this horribly from beginning to end, and basically informed us that we somehow magically had to shoehorn 45-50 hours of work into a 40 hour week.

      The last straw was that they were pushing back on telling our clients, who expect us to be available outside of 9-5 if needed. I just had an uncomfortable conversation with my boss last night and told her that if my client wasn’t told that my availability would be limited going forward (which would put me in the position of looking like I suddenly have started slacking off out of the blue), I was putting in my two week notice. I would rather get a seasonal retail job to make ends meet than sacrifice a pretty much spotless professional reputation that I’ve spent over 20 years working at.

      Reply
  34. Sick

    This makes me sick to my stomach. My old employer (a progressive issue non-profit no less) was part of the group who sued, and now they’ll get to smugly continue to pay their employees 25k a year for 70 hour work weeks.

    This affects lower income people the most so I hope people consider that before jumping for joy over regaining a bit more flexibility (I’m including myself in that).

    Reply
    1. Allypopx

      Agreed. My non-profit is handling this very well, and I’ve been moaning about losing my flexibility more than anything else. There’s a lot of people who are either going to be really impacted by this block (such as examples in this thread) or who were already being badly exploited under the current system, and they’re going to be largely low income and economically vulnerable parties.

      Reply
    2. H+D

      I honestly think the non-profit world is some of the worst offenders with this stuff. I tried to encourage our staff that this ruling (although a huge mental shift) was a good thing for them… no more excessively long work weeks for very low pay. I never expected to get rich working the type of job that I have, but it’s also obscene to me how much work some agencies try to squeeze out of people.

      Reply
      1. Allypopx

        The mental shift is the hardest part. Working long hours, especially at a cause-based nonprofit, can be a huge badge of honor. For me it’s definitely been a question of how my boss perceives my work ethic and whether there’s going to be more oversight to my workload and time management, which I’m wiggy about. No matter how often I’m told “one way or another, you’re going to make more money” the mental shift is very, very difficult.

        Reply
      2. Sick

        I agree. I’ve had the privilege of working several better jobs since this old one, but I still have friends who work there and it’s hard to watch them work those hours “for the cause” when their workplace won’t even afford them a living wage.

        Reply
      3. YawningDodo

        +1 from another nonprofit worker (my boss has been very upbeat about the change, reminding us that it’s good for our work-life balance). In my own position I’ve been able to keep myself strict about doing only forty hour work weeks unless there was a very, very good reason to do otherwise (result of having mentors who were big on work-life balance), but I know several people within my organization who are severely overworked. We lost a very good one to the private sector just this last year, and frankly I think she left because she’d burned out. There’s an ugly expectation that if you work for a nonprofit it’s because you’re purely there to support the mission, and if you don’t do so at your own personal expense you’re somehow greedy or lazy.

        As a practical matter, the new rule is set to have very little effect on my own work life for most of the year. My employer has had me set to become hourly but to retain my same annual pay. The difference is purely that 1.) I can’t do overtime without getting it approved (and am therefore held more strictly to my own standard for keeping a forty hour week), and 2.) our organization is finally going to put the level of thought into scheduling people for our annual event that it should have for years now. No more scheduling people for regular shifts in the days leading up to the event when they don’t actually need to be there and having everyone work crazy numbers of hours as a result.

        Reply
      4. Marie

        So agreed. I’m a social worker, and the social work profession was particularly singled out as one that would benefit the most from this rule change. My employer is pretty ethical and has always drawn a hard line in the sand when it comes to treating employees well — we get a training budget, ample PTO, and the lowest caseloads in our state — so I suspect we’ll be keeping our raises.

        But I was really looking forward to all the other social workers performing roles that affect my clients significantly to be able to provide better services and outcomes. The outcomes for my clients are so, so dependent on their workers, and if the workers are too poor, tired, anxious about their rent, anxious about untreated medical conditions, and literally hungry every day, they end up intentionally or unintentionally abusing or neglecting clients. Your staff shouldn’t be paid so little that they qualify for the services you offer impoverished clients. That’s just taking from the poor to barely feed the poor.

        Reply
      1. Otra

        I know how you feel. At least the comments on this page are for the most part positive or understanding. Try reading comments on other sites.

        Reply
  35. EddieSherbert

    This kind of made me chuckle – simply because I never even got to find out what was going to happen at my company! I was scheduled to meet about it next week (like the day before it went into place)…. and then they suddenly cancelled that meeting yesterday and said I’d get a new meeting invite once they figure out how it’s going to be handled.

    My guess is that we’re just not going to make any changes (for now). But man, am I curious about how we were going to handle it!

    Reply
  36. Lurker

    Sigh. We only had few people who were going to be affected. We told them all last week that they were being re-classified as salaried, nonexempt. I’m not sure what to do now. The good thing is that we kept them all at their same salary; but in all honesty, they should have been classified as nonexempt from the beginning. (The PTB at my company don’t think anyone should be nonexempt.) I know the PTB will want them to go back to being considered exempt, but I’m concerned that since they’ve been told, they’ll realize they 1. should be nonexempt anyway, and/or 2. realize without this change, they’re going to be expected to go back to working more hours without more pay.

    Reply
  37. anonykins

    I and all the people in my office are directly affected by this. The solution for my position was to make me hourly (thankfully at the same rate I was already making) and, because of a delightful payroll fluke, only give me one paycheck for the month of December (oh, and double deduct my benefits payments from that one paycheck, since they’re supposed to come out of two checks every month). I have NO IDEA what is going to happen now, and neither does my boss (I am pretty sure I know more about the ins and outs of this law than he does, due to my religious reading of this blog).

    If ever there was an argument for salaried non-exempt, I think my position is the perfect case. Waaaaaay too complicated for HR to wrap their heads around, though….

    Reply
  38. Anon for this

    I just got an e-mail that I am being moved BACK to exempt until this litigation is settled after being moved to nonexempt as a result of this rule change. I am PISSED, mostly because I am being moved from a biweekly pay schedule back to monthly. I don’t enjoy being jerked around.

    Reply
    1. Also ANON

      I am also being moved back to exempt, and also I was expecting a check because they gave us a one-time chance to sell back our vacation. That will not be happening. They are letting the people who received small raises to make them exempt keep that.

      Reply
      1. Also ANON

        However, everyone else I work with is really happy this is happening, and also are somehow blaming Obama because it seems “fishy” that he did this just after the election. Um… I don’t think he is in charge of the delay!

        Reply
  39. BethRA

    We’re small, so only one person was going to be impacted here – and praise be! they’re going to go ahead with his salary increase anyway.

    Reply
  40. JoAnna

    Great, just great. Now my husband and I get the spend the rest of the Thanksgiving holiday worried that he won’t in fact get the $7,000/year pay raise he was supposed to get effective December 1.

    Reply
    1. JoAnna

      Aaaaaaaaand his employer rescinded it. They sent out an email yesterday (Nov 30) to that effect. This decision came AFTER all the employees signed a “letter of reasonable assurance” acknowledging the pay hike. To say we are devastated is an understatement.

      Reply
  41. HR IT Supporter

    We just got the word from corporate that we will go through with the raises and changes we already communicated to everyone. This is a 5000 plus teapot manufacturer btw. Our head of HR said we stand by our promise to the staff! Happy time here.

    Reply
    1. Allypopx

      I really hope people realize that companies are responding this way and follow their example – and that if they don’t, employees realize it and go where they’ll be treated well. Congratulations!

      Reply
  42. Dealthwiththis

    My company hasn’t said a WORD about these laws and then today, at around 11 am, they send me an invitation for me and my supervisor to meet with HR next week about these laws. It’s been hinted to me through a fellow employee that I’m getting bumped up to the minimum. I’m not getting my hopes up though, I have a feeling that they don’t even realize that the rules have been halted and will change their minds as soon as they read the news.

    Reply
  43. Yikes

    I’m about to start a new job next week and I am/was going to be non-exempt hourly. Do y’all think that will change? This will be my first job so now I’m incredibly confused about if this development will even affect me at all.

    Reply
    1. Allypopx

      It’s hard to know without knowing more about what you’re going to be doing, but it probably won’t impact you. Most of the people who were going to be impacted were being reclassified as non-exempt salaried. If you’re still earning an hourly wage as opposed to a salary + overtime, that’s most likely intentional. But I could be wrong, it’s become a very case-by-case issue. I’d move forward under the assumption the information you have is accurate, but if you’re still confused once you start it would be fine to approach your manager and just say “I’ve been hearing a lot about overtime laws in the news and it’s hard to keep it all straight. Will my position be impacted at all by those decisions?”

      Congrats on the new job!

      Reply
    2. Sunshine

      If you were already an hourly employee, there’s really no reason they would change that (assuming they are planning to pay you overtime as defined by the law). Definitely ask your new boss, though!

      Reply
  44. Lemon Zinger

    Just received confirmation of my suspicions– everyone who was made non-exempt on Monday is back to being exempt.

    I’m not surprised, but I am disappointed.

    Reply
  45. Rachel B

    Ok, so Alison was employing sarcasm when she said, ” … this fairly shocking development with the new overtime rule,” right? Was this really a surprise or did people see this reversal coming?

    Reply
      1. Observer

        Not only that – a lot of people were not expecting the injunction at all – most of the what I have been seeing was along the lines of ” whatever happens with the law suit, the judge won’t rule till after 12/1, so get yourself compliant.”

        Reply
  46. Anonforthisone

    My company (mid-size PR agency) just sent out an email saying they are holding on the changes to pay/exempt status that were going into effect next week, and keeping everyone at their current levels/status.

    It doesn’t affect me, and only was going to affect a small percentage of employees at the company, it seems like most are already above the salary cutoff.

    Reply
  47. Gina

    My husband’s “raise” was rescinded today. Happy holidays. It was just allowing him his Overtime which is a whole 3.5 hours per week. Cute how his employer called it a raise yesterday, then it became contingent on the overtime rule today. We are furious and I am an HR manager myself so dealing w it both ways. Doubt it goes thru now or ever.

    Reply
  48. Lisa

    I am a social worker who works 50 plus hours but this rule would only hurt us at my non-profit agency. We used to be able to flex-time from week to week and this law would prevent that because we will NOT get overtime. They will not give us overtime so now we will be micro-managed and have to squeeze 50 plus hours into 40 hour work week. Also if we have “free time” we will have to cover for other workers and our clients do not like to switch out workers. No flexability and that was the only financial benefit we had. I would rather work extra hours. Great if your company actually will pay overtime or if they bump you up to become exempt , but for the rest of us …not really.

    Reply
  49. ECHM

    I make a little over $28,000 per year in southwest Michigan and regularly work 60 hours. I was so looking forward to this boost in pay (although I didn’t think my company could afford it, so my boss is probably relieved).

    Reply
    1. Dana M.

      I was excited to become a Non-Exempt employee. I have spent more than 65% of my annual work weeks working in excess of 50 hours. I was hoping that I might earn closer to the median salary for my position at similar size companies. Now, I’m being told that with the injunction in place, I can continue to be exempt. Bummer!

      Reply
  50. John

    Was making around $700 a week salary based on a 50hr week. Boss bumped me down to hourly, lowered my hourly wage to now I have to work 60 hours a week to make that $700 my budget is based on. With everyone claiming this is going to help “alot” of people pretty sure unless you’re already close to the 48k you will get a paycut + longer week now . IMHO the people who really need more money to help pay bills will be hit hard with this. Not too many jobs in my area so I dont have the option to buck on employers plan for months till I find another job.

    Reply
    1. NaoNao

      Well, I’m not 100% on this, but if you were working strictly hourly with no OT for 50 hours, now you’ll be getting OT for 20 hours a week, if you work 60 hours. So if you were making 700$ with only 10 hours of OT a week and now you have to work 20 hours of OT for that same salary, yeah, that’s too bad. But that’s on your Boss, not the government’s ruling/law. The boss could have said “I’ll keep you at the same salary and pay you OT for any hours above 40”, since 700$ a week is only about 35,000, and that’s under the threshold for exemption from the OT laws. I think this boss is exploiting you. This law is intended to protect people like you, people who work 60 hours a week for 35K a year. Which is a scandal.

      Reply
  51. Dana M.

    My current job description was reviewed with the ensuing FLSA rules coming in to effect on December 1st. It was determined that I do not meet the Exempt Job Duties test and therefore, I would be Non-Exempt (moving from Exempt status), starting December 1. However, I received a new Non-Exempt timesheet and was asked to begin using it on November 20, 2016. All communication received points to the fact that I am considered a Non-Exempt employee. It is my understanding that the duties tests did not change. With the injunction in place, I have been told that I am still considered Exempt and will remain Exempt as long as the injunction is in place. Is this legal?

    Reply
  52. Larygirl

    I have a question: I emailed my boss last Wednesday and asked if there were papers to sign before I was switched over to Hourly. She told me that the new Law was on hold but that they (the company) was going to start January 1st. Can they do this? The boss also said that I would be signing paperwork at a later date to say that I’m switching to Hourly. Is the employee ‘allowed’ to see the Criteria for salaried employees? My HR lady was reading it but it didn’t really jive b/c a friend who works in the same field at another facility got bumped up without meeting some of the requirements! If the rest of the world is on hold, how can my employer (a major hospital in my town) do this?

    Reply
  53. FuckRetail

    It’s crazy how some companies are still going forward with what they initially told their employees however others are choosing to hide behind this bullshit hold just to keep money in their own pockets . I.E The Wack Ass Company I Work for

    Reply
  54. EJ

    I read about this….

    For me, it’s not that big of a deal. I have the type of job where it’s 4:20, work is DONE! We rarely do overtime and I stopped doing some monthly events that would cause me to stay a few hours late. My supervisor always allowed comp time (but I’d rather get paid!). Also, a rule is in place, for any person below the threshold, where you need to get permission from your supervisor to work extra hours. So I can see them taking more advantage of the workers who are about the $48,000 amount.

    On the other hand…. my husband works for a company who expects him to be available 24/7 at $40,000. He runs the whole off-site office. Over the 10 years he’s been there, they’ve pretty much refused any raises. The new overtime rule will GREATLY benefit him. At his rate, he will make the extra $8,000 within 6 months. I’m going to guess they will get pissed at all of the hours they have to pay him for and just bump him to the bare minimum, just so they can take advantage again.

    Reply

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