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DOL Overtime Regulation Listening Sessions for Employer Input Start May 13

The Department of Labor (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) announced a series of listening sessions to hear from stakeholders about anticipated overtime (OT) regulations. The listening sessions for employers are organized by geographic area and run from May 13 to June 3, 2022. The public can review the WHD calendar and register for sessions on the DOL website. During the listening sessions, DOL will not discuss specific language but will simply receive input from the public.

As background, in 2019 TechServe CEO Mark Roberts submitted comments on the then-pending proposed rule that addressed the computer professional exemption under the FLSA and levels of discretionary bonuses that should be included for the standard salary level test for non-computer professional staff, including recruiters. In addition, TechServe supported this approach of going through this public process for adjusting salary levels instead of the alternative linking increases to economic indicators. The Final Rule, effective Jan. 1, 2020, was limited to raising the salary level and setting the discretionary bonus levels; the computer professional exemption was not addressed.

These 2022 DOL listening sessions provide our members with an early opportunity to weigh in with concerns prior to the issuance of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. In advance of the DOL listening session tour, on March 25, 2022, the Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Advocacy held a nationwide call-in for small businesses with concerns about potential changes to the OT Regulation. The TechServe Government Affairs Team participated in this session.

Small business and non-profit participants in the March 25 listening session were unified in asking for a delay in the effective date of any adjusted salary levels in new regulations. Non-profits and for-profit businesses have budgets that would need to be adjusted and fixed-price contracts or grants that would not immediately support compensation increases. We have heard the same concerns from TechServe Alliance members when states enact mandatory leave, overtime, or other changes—many contracts with a slim profit margin may not support compensation increases.

In addition to member companies participating in the DOL employer listening sessions, TechServe can also convey information to SBA regarding our small business members’ concerns. Over 80 percent of TechServe member companies qualify as small businesses.  Below are some of the questions asked by SBA:

  • Whether the salary level above which the exemptions for bona fide executive, administrative, or professional employees should be raised, and whether there is an appropriate level for all businesses;
  • The costs of increasing the salary level to small employers, such as increasing payroll and management costs;
  • Possible regulatory alternatives that would minimize the compliance costs for small entities while achieving the agency’s regulatory goals;
  • The best methodology for updating the salary level, and the appropriate frequency of updates;
  • Whether “other changes to overtime regulations are warranted.”

Please contact the TechServe Governmental Affairs Team with your company’s concerns or questions.

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