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New Overtime Pay Requirements Released by the Department of Labor

Mar 8, 2019 12:32:19 PM

On March 7th, 2019 the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that, if passed, would “make more than a million more American workers eligible for overtime.” (U.S. Department of Labor, 2019) The proposal would update the salary threshold using the current wage data (projected through January 1st, 2020) with the expected result boosting the standard salary level from $455 to $679 per week, aka $35,308 per year.

For some background, the current law for employees with a salary below $455 per week, $23,660 annually, receive overtime pay if they work more than 40 hours per week. This salary threshold was set in 2004.

This adjustment comes from a 2017 Request for Information (RFI) from the DOL and includes public input from “6-person listening sessions held around the nation and more than 200,000 comments.” (U.S. Department of Labor, 2019) Secretary Alexander Acosta says, “Our economy has more job openings than job seekers and more Americans are joining the labor force. At my confirmation hearings, I committed to an update of the 2004 overtime threshold, and today’s proposal would bring common sense, consistency, and higher wages to working Americans.” Keith Sonderling, Acting Administrator for the Department’s Wage and Hour Division, adds “Comments on the RFI and in-person sessions overwhelmingly agreed that the 2004 levels need to be updated.” (U.S. Department of Labor, 2019)

The NPRM will keep overtime protections for the following: police officers, fire fighters, paramedics, nurses, and laborers including non-management production-line employees and non-management employees in maintenance, construction, and similar occupations such as carpenters, electricians, mechanics, plumbers, iron workers, craftsmen, operating engineers, and longshoremen. This proposal does not apply for automatic adjustments to this salary threshold.

You can find more information on the NPRM at and you can submit comments regarding this proposed rule at






U.S. Department of Labor. (2019, March 8). U.S. Department of Labor Releases Overtime Update Proposal. Retrieved from U.S. Department of Labor:



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