On Wednesday, February 22, 2017, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals granted the Justice Department’s request for a 60-day extension to determine its position on the new FLSA overtime exemption rules. The stated reason for the government’s unopposed request was to allow incoming leadership adequate time to consider the issues.
With a change in parties and philosophies in the White House as well as shifts in the legislative branches, employers and HR professionals are rightfully wondering what the impact will be on their employment practices, current legislation and bottom line in 2017 and beyond. The steady preparations that many businesses had been advancing in anticipation of new requirement roll-outs and expected actions now have them asking themselves “how much are things going to change” and “what do we focus on now?”
In this recurring DHR blog feature, Christine La fore (Associate General Counsel for DHR) brings clarity and definition to sometimes confusing terms that hold importance for employers and their HR policies. Christine has reviewed and analyzed countless legal documents and rulings and uses her expertise to help employers properly understand these items to apply policy and promote compliance.
What exactly is the FLSA?
While most employers have a good, basic understanding of the objectives and intent of the FLSA, several important details and requirements remain unclear to many: let’s set the stage with a foundational description.
On November 22, 2016, a federal judge in Texas blocked the U.S. Department of Labor’s (USDOL’s) overtime rule from taking effect on December 1, 2016. The means that the judge agreed with arguments made by concerned states and business groups and issued a preliminary injunction, thus preventing the rules from being implemented on a nationwide basis.
As we draw closer to the December 1, 2016 effective date for the updated FLSA final rule and the overtime provisions it contains, we continue our look at a variety of other FLSA-related issues affecting employers. Today we take a look at interns and the FLSA.
The intern-employer relationship can be highly beneficial for both sides. Interns gain insight into a field they are considering a career in and add valuable work experience, while employers open a pipeline for new talent and provide a helpful community service. Before employers consider advancing an internship program however, they should understand how employment regulations such as FLSA view the intern-employer relationship and what they must do to ensure compliance.
With changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and its rules regarding overtime scheduled to go into effect on December 1st, 2016, many employers are understandably anxious and revisiting their understanding of the law and its respective components.
For one, the FLSA will continue to mandate that employees be classified as exempt or non-exempt, but has significantly changed the salary threshold that is required to be qualified as “exempt.” This change will bring with it significant consequences for some businesses. As a result, it’s now more important than ever that employers make this exempt vs. non-exempt determination properly and understand how it impacts their employees and business.
The new overtime rules issued by the Department of Labor (DOL) in May of 2016 are scheduled to take effect on December 1, 2016. Twenty-one states lead by Texas and Nevada as well as a number of business groups have filed separate lawsuits challenging the validity of the new rules in an attempt to block DOL enforcement. They are seeking declaratory judgement and injunctive relief to prevent the implementation of the new rules. Experts however still advise businesses to be prepared for the December 1 effective date because there is no expectation that these legal challenges will be successful.