Department of Labor holds a listening session on the overtime rule in Providence

“One of the many reasons reasons wages for American workers have stagnated is the “antiquated overtime threshold” said Douglas Hall, director of economic and fiscal policy the Economic Progress Institute. “Not only has the overtime threshold been stagnant since 2004, it’s never been meaningfully inflation adjusted since it was set in 1975.”

Hall was speaking at a United States Department of Labor (DOL) “listening session” in Providence Monday morning.

DOL plans to update the Part 541 white-collar exemption regulations, often referred to as the “Overtime Rule.” Issued under the Fair Labor Standards Act, these regulations implement exemptions from the overtime pay requirements for executive, administrative, professional, and certain other employees.

In May of 2016, DOL published a revised 2016 overtime rule which proposed an increase in overtime salary threshold levels, from $23,660 to $47,476 per year. In November 2016, Federal District Court Judge Amos Mazzan enjoined the rule, preventing DOL from implementing and enforcing it.

On August 21, 2017, the same court held that the final rule salary level exceeded DOL’s authority and concluded that the final rule is invalid. On October 30, 2017, DOL appealed that decision to the Fifth Circuit. However, at DOL’s request, the Fifth Circuit is holding the appeal in abeyance while DOL engages in rule making.

Hence a series of “listening sessions” held across the country by DOL. Providence was the last such session.