I blogged last week about the back and forth on the new USDOL proposed salary threshold for exempt status, at approximately $35,000 per year. Well, the Democrats have now spoken on the issue and they propose raising the threshold to approximately $51,000 per year. Another great divide.
The proposed law is entitled the Restoring Overtime Pay Act. It would codify the Obama proposal to establish the salary level at the 40th percentile of wages in the South; this region is (currently) the lowest paying area in the country. The Democratic plan also sets out that there will be periodic automatic updates.
One Democratic lawmaker stated that “overtime standards are long overdue for a meaningful update that will protect more workers and put money back in the pockets of millions of middle-class families. We must return to the fundamental American belief in fair pay for a hard day’s work and this legislation will help us get closer to achieving that.”
The Obama administration had recommended a salary level of $47,476 as well as for automatic updates. A federal Judge in Texas enjoined the Obama rule, agreeing with business groups that the agency exceeded its authority by not considering, at all, the duties test in making this proposal. The agency then, a few months ago, announced its target salary level at $35,308.
The proponents of the new (much higher) salary level argue that it will protect millions more employee in their “right” to receive overtime. Another Congressional backer stated that “restoring overtime protections for workers reflects our commitment to creating an economy that works for everyone. Unfortunately, rather than supporting the strong protections included in the Obama-era overtime rule, the Trump administration issued a new proposal that would leave 8.2 million workers behind.”
This $51,000 level is going nowhere.
Simple as that…