New overtime regs coming in November

Workers should know by November if they will be eligible for overtime pay under Labor Department draft regulations, new projections show.

President Obama directed the agency in March to overhaul regulations to allow millions of additional workers to receive overtime pay. At the time, Labor Secretary Tom Perez declined to give a timeline for the regulations.

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The Labor Department’s semiannual regulatory agenda, to be published in Friday’s edition of the Federal Register, shows that the agency plans to issue a notice of public rule-making — the first formal stage in the agency rulemaking process — by November.

That means the administration is likely eyeing a final rule in 2015, because it will require extensive review and a public comment period before it could be finalized.

Under current regulations, companies are required to pay overtime to salaried workers making less than $455 a week. Obama’s proposal seeks to redefine which employees can be classified as “executive or professional” and thus ineligible for overtime pay.

The action is expected to expand the number of eligible employees to include, for instance, fast food shift supervisors and some office workers who are now denied overtime pay.

The administration has not said how high the weekly pay threshold might be raised.

The rule is also expected to add new restrictions requiring that employees must perform a minimum percentage of “executive work” to qualify for the so-called white-collar exemption, narrowing a loophole that allowed companies to exempt certain workers.