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Will the recent presidential election affect the new overtime rule?

Even though we're just about to enter one of the busiest times of the year for many business owners, it's important for them not to lose sight of the fact that we're currently just over a week away from the U.S. Department of Labor's new overtime rule officially taking effect.

Perhaps not surprisingly, many business owners are now wondering what action President-elect Donald Trump might take regarding the overtime rule in the days, weeks or months ahead, and what effect, if any, this might have on them. 

What exactly does the new overtime rule require?

To recap, the new overtime rule provides that the DOL's current threshold under the "salary level test" will increase from $23,660 to $47,476, thereby expanding the pool of workers eligible for time-and-a-half to a considerable degree. Furthermore, the new rule calls for this new salary threshold to be revised every three years.

Is there anything that the incoming administration can do to stop the overtime rule from taking effect on December 1?

According to experts, there is nothing the president-elect can do to stop the imminent implementation of the new overtime rule prior to taking office on January 20, 2017.

As such, they advise all affected business owners to take the necessary steps to prepare, as the overtime rule will be in effect for at least some amount of time.

What about after January 20?

These same experts indicate that there are roughly two avenues through which the overtime rule could theoretically be curtailed or even pulled altogether by the president-elect:

  • Legislation: Bipartisan legislation has already been introduced on Capitol Hill calling for the overtime rule to be slowly unrolled to all employers over four years and for the triennial salary threshold revisions to be eliminated. It's not inconceivable that this could make it to the president's desk.
  • Withdrawal: The Trump Administration could order the DOL to withdraw the overtime rule, a process that experts say would necessitate months or even years of notice-and-comment rulemaking under the Administrative Procedure Act.

What are the chances of either happening?

Pundits have stated that President-elect Trump spoke very little about this issue during his campaign, such that it remains entirely unclear as to whether his administration will deem it a priority. As such, business owners are being encouraged by experts to continue making the necessary arrangements in order to be complaint with the new overtime rule.

Stay tuned for updates ...

If you have questions about the new overtime rule, or your rights and responsibilities as an employer, consider speaking with a skilled legal professional.

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