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DOL delays rules for overtime exemptions and joint employment

Employers in California will remain in limbo as the U.S. Department of Labor continues to delay decisions about overtime exemptions and joint employment. The agency recently announced that it will not publish proposed new regulations about overtime exemptions until March 2019.

At issue is the salary threshold that would create an exemption from the payment of overtime. The Fair Labor Standards Act currently allows employers to avoid paying overtime for workers earning a salary of at least $23,660. The Obama administration had proposed a new threshold of $47,476, but the Trump administration blocked that attempt.

Regulatory confusion about joint employment has also raised anxieties among employers and regulators who need guidance. As things stand, franchises and staffing agencies have joint liability for employment law infractions. Neither the National Labor Relations Act or FLSA provide sufficient clarity on this subject. The DOL plans to undermine Obama-era rules because of their focus on employee needs. A statement from the agency explained that the work landscape of the 21st century requires updated regulations.

Although regulations change as the years go by, employers need to adhere to rules that are currently in effect. When an employee notices that an employer appears to be avoiding the payment of overtime, paying less than minimum wage or mislabeling a position as exempt, violations of wage and hour laws could be occurring. A consultation with an attorney might provide answers to questions that an employer does not want to answer. An attorney could explain how to initiate wage and hour claims and prepare a formal complaint. If initial negotiations do not resolve the problem, then the attorney could litigate the case.

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