Injunction Stops Overtime Change That Would’ve Been Implemented Thursday

FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) -- If it wasn't for an injunction from a federal judge in Texas, employers across the country would be required to follow new overtime rules starting Thursday (Dec. 1).

Before the new rules, that are now in limbo, people making less than $23,660 were required to get overtime pay. The new rule would have more than doubled that to $47,476.

Arkansas Society for Human Resource Management Director Michele Burns and her organization believe the salary level should be increased, but not doubled.

Burns said the injunction gives companies more time or they may never have to implement the new rules, and as far as workers are concerned, even if the rules do go into effect, they won't necessarily mean workers will be making a whole lot more each year.

“Businesses have been working and looking at ways to reschedule their workloads. Maybe shift job duties to other people so there is not as much overtime,” Burns said.

Burns said companies were looking at different ways to address the changes before the injunction came down.

“For people who were already close to the threshold they went ahead and moved them up to that threshold. So that increased some employees' salaries anyways, so they could continue to be exempt when this regulation would have taken place,” she said.

Others are taking advantage of a loophole, but Burns said she doesn't believe that practice is widespread.

“A company could of actually reduced an employee`s wage by looking at what the projected overtime was and deducting that from their current wage and then at the end on Dec. 1, they would have been paid the equivalent rate that they had been based on the overtime,” she said.

Also not widespread are companies that are implementing the new rule despite the injunction, but they are out there.

“I don't project a lot of companies are going to be paying overtime when they don`t have to, unless it met that description I mentioned earlier where it just makes sense to recruit and retain employees,” she said.

 

Burns said no one thought the injunction on the new rule would happen, which moves the discussion into next year. She said outside of legal action, the Trump administration could come up with its own direction for the Department of Labor.

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