Publishers Need to Prepare for New Overtime Rules

In May, the Department of Labor (DOL) finalized their changes to the white-collar exemption of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) – increasing the salary threshold that determines whether employers may classify employees exempt from overtime from its current level of $23,600 annually to $47,476 annually.

Everyone from small businesses, non-profits and universities will have until December 1, 2016 to comply with the new regulation.

The Final Rule:

  1. Will set the minimum salary level for exemption at $47,476 – a 100 percent increase from the current threshold of $23,660.
  2. Establishes a mechanism for automatically updating the salary and compensation levels every three years, beginning January 1, 2020.
  3. Permits employers to count up to 10 percent of any nondiscretionary bonuses and commissions towards the minimum salary level, as long as they are paid on at least a quarterly basis.
  4. Makes no changes to the current duties test.

While News Media Alliance continues to explore long-shot legislative and legal remedies that would lessen the impact of the DOL’s Final Rule, companies should begin preparing for complying with the rule as it currently stands.

To help news media companies understand and comply with the new rules, News Media Alliance is offering a members-only webinar on July 12 from 2:00-3:00 pm EST, featuring experts Tammy McCutchen and Andrew Voss of Littler Mendelson.

McCutchen is a former administrator of the Wage and Hour Division at the Department of Labor. Today, as a Principal at Littler Mendelson, she is a leading authority on federal and state wage and hour laws, serving as an expert witness on Capitol Hill in hearings on the DOL’s overtime rules.

Voss, a shareholder in Littler Mendelson’s Minneapolis office, has long represented a range of employers and industries in collective, class, and hybrid actions brought under the federal FLSA.

On the webinar, these experts will provide News Media Alliance members with an overview of the new overtime rules and detail steps that newspapers/news media companies can take to comply with the new rules. Also learn about newspaper industry-specific issues under the FLSA that could influence how a newspaper approaches compliance, from the small newspaper exemption (4,000 circulation) to exceptions that might affect district managers in circulation departments.


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