On March 7, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released long-awaited revisions to the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The proposed rule would raise the salary threshold used for determining overtime from $23,660 annually ($455/week) to $35,308 annually ($679/week). This nearly 50 percent increase is likely to be a significant load to bear for small-market newspapers in rural states. It is important to note, however, that the Obama Administration’s final rule issued in 2016 would have increased the threshold by more than 100 percent, to $47,476. A federal court stayed and remanded the final rule, which led the Trump Administration’s DOL to come up with this revised rule. Other highlights from the proposed rule include: a commitment from the DOL to periodically review and update the salary threshold (instead of implementing automatic increases), and an increase in the total annual compensation threshold for “highly compensated employees” from $100,000 to $147,414. The proposed rule does not include any changes to the duties test used to determine whether employees over the salary threshold qualified for overtime.
Members of the News Media Alliance staff have contributed to this post.