PPWO to Congress: DOL Should Withdraw Overtime Rulemaking

On October 24, 2023 PPWO and 87 organizations representing private, public, nonprofit, and educational entities sent letters to House and Senate lawmakers requesting that they urge the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division to withdraw its proposed overtime pay regulations. The Department has proposed to increase the minimum salary level that an employee must receive to be exempt from federal overtime pay by an overwhelming 70 percent and has additionally proposed to automatically increase the salary level every three years. This proposal comes despite the Department updating the minimum salary level just four years ago in 2019, and the new proposed salary level is effectively 154 percent higher than the threshold that was in place prior to that 2019 update.

As the letters note, “the Department has not provided adequate justification for the proposed increase and automatic updates, both of which are unlawful, inconsistent with historic norms, and will harm businesses, nonprofits, colleges and universities, states, cities, towns and public schools as well as the workers they employ and the consumers, students and people they serve.” Moreover:
  • The Department provided a mere 60 days for the public to submit comments on the proposal, despite receiving extension requests from PPWO and hundreds of additional associations. As those requests noted, 60 days is insufficient for stakeholders to collect necessary and comprehensive data on the proposal’s implications — including which employees will be impacted; what those impacts will mean for workers, entities, and consumers; and what alternatives the Department could consider.
  • The Department’s increase is unnecessary and unprecedented. The Department has updated the salary level eight times since 1938 (on average, every 9.87 years) and increases have ranged from 5 to 50 percent. Increases have never come close to approaching 154 percent.
  • The proposal’s costs will largely be borne by entry level workers in rural and economically stressed regions as well as those graduating with degrees that do not conventionally command high salaries given that organizations will face exorbitant transition and operational costs that will require headcount and service reductions.
  • Automatic updates to the salary level will impose significant inflationary pressure on the economy at a time when rising costs have already proven detrimental.

PPWO Requests Extension on Overtime NPRM Comment Period

On September 25, 2023, PPWO and 107 employer organizations submitted an extension request to the Department of Labor requesting an additional 60 days to the comment period on the agency’s proposed rulemaking altering the overtime pay regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Our letter explains, “Given the magnitude of this rule, an additional sixty days is reasonable and will ensure WHD will receive meaningful information, such as more accurate and informative comments, and better understand how the economy and workers will be impacted by the changes being considered.”

The rulemaking imposes a significant increase to the minimum salary threshold and automatically increases the threshold every three years. “These are significant changes that will have a massive impact on the economy and millions of current and future workers. Additional time is needed in the comment period to allow the regulated community to analyze the rulemaking, fully assess the potential impact the changes will have on the economy, business operations, and workers, and develop comprehensive comments.”

PPWO Calls on DOL to Abandon Overtime Rulemaking

On May 11, 2022, PPWO and 93 organizations sent a letter to Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh urging him to abandon or at least postpone issuance of the Department of Labor’s announced proposed rulemaking altering the overtime regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Over the past two months, the employer community has warned DOL during its listening sessions that “the economy today cannot support changes to the white-collar exemptions under the FLSA.” “Due to significant concerns with supply chain disruptions, workforce shortages, inflationary pressures, and the shifting dynamics of the American workforce following the COVID-19 pandemic, any rule change now would be ill-advised. Importantly, DOL last updated the overtime regulations only three years ago, which strongly suggests there is no need for urgency in issuing more changes.”

PPWO called on DOL to abandon or at least postpone issuance of its announced NPRM “until the current economic situation stabilizes and improves to allow the American workforce, employer community, and DOL itself to more fully understand how the pandemic has shifted the paradigm of work in America.”

Employer Community Calls on DOL to Hold Stakeholder Meetings Before Developing, Issuing New Overtime Proposal

On January 25, 2022, 110 employer organizations sent a letter to Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh urging the Department of Labor (DOL) to hold stakeholder meetings prior to the development and issuance of its anticipated proposed rulemaking on the “white collar” exemptions to the overtime regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

In the letter the organizations explain, “This will be a significant rulemaking with respect to cost, difficulty in implementation and impact on the workforce, particularly given the current acute labor shortages. Our organizations urge DOL to follow past precedents and hold meetings with the regulated community to obtain input on the potential impact of any changes to the overtime exemption requirements.”

DOL would benefit from stakeholder input on the current economic situation and the potential impact new overtime regulations could have on the workforce and economy. Past administrations have held such meetings, and the employer organizations strongly urge the Biden DOL to follow suit. Given the vast increases in remote work and concerns around historic increases in inflation, it is particularly important for DOL to gather input before issuing a proposed regulation.

Biden Administration Is Preparing New Overtime Proposal

On December 10, the Department of Labor announced it is planning to issue a new overtime regulation to raise the minimum salary threshold under which all employees must be paid overtime. DOL has not publicized a specific figure yet. We also believe the administration is considering altering the duties test, or the test used to determine if a worker’s specific job responsibilities make them ineligible for overtime pay.

The overtime regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act have been updated several times over the last few years. The Obama administration wanted to raise the salary threshold to over $50,000 per year, an increase of over 100%. They were forced to lower the figure to $47,476 in their final rule, but this figure still put the economy and workers’ wellbeing in jeopardy. While the Trump administration was able to right the ship and bring the threshold down to a more reasonable $35,568 per year, we expect the Biden administration to “go big” in their proposal.

PPWO will file comments on the upcoming proposal to ensure reasonable, responsible regulations are put in place.

Small Group of Congressional Dems Call for Massive Increase in Overtime Salary Threshold

On March 25, 2021, a small group of Democrats in Congress called on the Biden administration to increase the minimum salary threshold, under which employees must be paid overtime, to at least $82,732 by 2026. This would be an increase of over 100% over the current level of just over $35,000. This increase would have devastating consequences for the economy, especially given the current economic environment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

PPWO strongly urges the Biden administration to reject this unreasonable and dangerous recommendation.

PPWO Submits Comments Responding to DOL’s Proposed Rulemaking on Regular Rate of Pay

PPWO Submits Comments Responding to DOL’s Proposed Rulemaking on Overtime

On May 21st, the Partnership to Protect Workplace Opportunity submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Labor responding to the proposed rulemaking that was issued on March 22, 2019.

PPWO Comment Letter



PPWO Submits Comments Responding to DOL’s RFI on Overtime

On September 25, the Partnership to Protect Workplace Opportunity submitted comments to the Department of Labor responding to the Request for Information that was published in the federal register on July 26, 2017.

PPWO Comment Letter on RFI


PPWO Congratulates Secretary Acosta, Reiterates Concern With Update

On June 16th, the Partnership to Protect Workplace Opportunity sent a letter to Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta congratulating him on his recent confirmation as well as reiterating concern with the salary threshold update.

PPWO Secretary Acosta Letter