Last fall, the Department of Labor (DOL) published its 2021 regulatory priorities, which included plans to update the top salary level that would qualify for exemption from overtime pay (known as the “white collar exemption”) under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which would result in a greater number of employees eligible for overtime pay.
The threshold is currently set at $35,568. DOL originally planned to propose a new threshold in April through a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), although that timeline is now expected to be delayed. While DOL has not given indication of what that proposed threshold may be, it is facing pressure from some members of Congress who want to see the salary threshold increased by more than double, to as high as $82,732 by 2026.
In February, the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) drafted a letter cosigned by a number of higher education associations to DOL expressing concern about the impacts of increasing the overtime salary threshold on institutions, their employees, and the students they serve.
The signers cited past attempts at changes to the threshold, including a 113% increase by President Barack Obama in 2014 which was ultimately enjoined by a federal court. During that process, CUPA-HR detailed the significant financial impacts such a change would have on institutions of higher education, and requested that DOL engage with the higher education community prior to beginning the upcoming rulemaking process to ensure fairness without unintended consequences. In response, DOL has scheduled listening sessions with higher education leaders for late March.
Stay tuned to Today’s News for updates on this issue.
Publication Date: 3/28/2022