We have been waiting and waiting…
The USDOL has been tasked with revising the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) white collar exemptions, but evidently these revisions will not be ready by the (initial) November 2014 deadline. The Solicitor of Labor M. Patricia Smith has stated that she anticipates they will be presented early in 2015.
Several months ago, the President instructed the Secretary of Labor to “modernize and streamline” the current overtime regulations, which were just revised in August 2004, which, in the world of law, is but a moment ago. The Administration had concluded that, as millions of Americans are ostensibly not eligible for overtime under these 2004 regulations, the current regulations are “already” outmoded and the rules need to be made stricter, to allow more overtime coverage for more workers.
Plaintiff lawyers will likely view this as an untoward development. The delay might cause some people to still remain “improperly” classified in their view. One plaintiff lawyer stated that “in the long run, the content matters more than the timing” and that it was “important that the changes be made and that they be effective, so we’re looking forward to seeing what the amendments actually accomplish.”
One extension of the overtime rules that is occurring is the extension of the minimum wage and overtime protections of the FLSA to in-home workers who provide care for aged, sick and disabled individuals. It is anticipated that this extension will give up to two million such workers (in a burgeoning industry) these rights and protections. In addition to raising wages, this modification, in the agency’s eyes, will hopefully attract more workers to the field.
I await with eagerness the new exemption rules. Hopefully the new regulations will dispose of the “discretion and independent judgment” component of the administrative exemption, which makes it pretty hard, right now, to categorize workers as “administrative employees.”
I bet they won’t…