On March 7, 2019, the Department of Labor announced a proposed rule that would raise the income threshold for overtime pay. The Department maintains that under its proposal a million more Americans would be eligible for overtime pay.
Under current law, employees with a salary below $455 per week ($23,660 annually) must be paid overtime if they work more than 40 hours per week. Workers making at least this salary level may be eligible for overtime based on their job duties.
The proposal would boost the proposed standard salary level to $679 per week (equivalent to $35,308 per year). Above this salary level, eligibility for overtime varies based on job duties.
The proposed rule:
- Increases the minimum salary required for an employee to qualify for exemption from the currently-enforced level of $455 to $679 per week (equivalent to $35,308 per year).
- Increases the total annual compensation requirement for “highly compensated employees” (HCE) from the currently-enforced level of $100,000 to $147,414 per year.
- Contains a commitment to periodic review to update the salary threshold. An update would continue to require notice-and-comment rulemaking.
- Allows employers to use nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments (including commissions) that are paid annually or more frequently to satisfy up to 10 percent of the standard salary level.
- The rule does not propose changes in overtime protections for:
- Police Officers
- Fire Fighters
- Laborers, including non-management production-line employees
- Non-management employees in maintenance, construction and similar occupations such as carpenters, electricians, plumbers, craftsmen, operating engineers, longshoremen, and other construction workers
- No changes in the proposal to the job duties test.
- The proposal does not contain automatic adjustments to the salary threshold.
On March 22, the Department of Labor opened the public comment period, which will remain open for 60 days, and close on May 21, 2019.
 This salary level was set in 2004. See http://www.in2013dollars.com/us/inflation/2004?amount=100 According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics prices are about 34% higher in 2019 than in 2004.