The changes in the FLSA may be here sooner than we think

The FLSA changes are moving down the track and are picking up speed.
The FLSA changes are moving down the track and are picking up speed.

Johnny Cash’s song Folsom Prison Blues starts off with the lyrics “I hear the train a comin’ It’s rolling round the bend.” Those are lyrics that are appropriate for the coming changes in the Fair Labor Standards Act. I wrote about this originally in The New Proposed FLSA Regulations and What They Mean for Employers. At that time initial estimates were that the new rules would be published in the latter part of 2016 with an effective date of 2017. That has changed.

July 2016

According to the attorneys at Ford Harrison the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Solicitor of Labor M. Patricia Smith announced that the DOL’s Final Rule regarding the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) White Collar Exemption Regulations will be published in July 2016, with an effective date of 60 days later.” Apparently Ms. Smith then altered her statement and “later clarified that the Final Rule could be published in or before July and will take effect at least 60 days later.” The lawyers at Ford Harrison feel it will be published in July, which  would make it effective mid-September.

The politics

Congress is apparently not happy with the actions of the DOL and have sent a letter asking for confirmation that the DOL gave proper attention to the newly proposed rules, after all 300,000 comments were submitted to them for review. According to Staci Ketay Rotman of FranczkRadelet  “This request signals an attempt by some members of Congress to somehow delay or affect the issuance and implementation of the final rule.” Others have conjectured that the DOL is going to try to get this revision in place before the elections in order to make it harder for a new president or new Congress to remove it.

What employers need to do

Regardless of the politics of the situation employers need to understand the very likely changes that will be made effective and need to prepare for these sooner rather than later. You can about these changes and my recommendations here.
As Johnny Cash said the train is rolling around the bend and if you don’t want to get run over by it you need to be ready.

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