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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Labor Department Issues Final Overtime Rule

The Department of Labor is releasing its final rule doubling the salary level used to determine whether employees are exempt from overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Starting on Dec. 1, the new salary level for exemptions will rise from $23,660 to $47,476, or $913 per week.

ABA Presdient and CEO Rob Nichols said
If this rule were supposed to help workers, it misses the mark. It will be harmful to bank employees and the banks who employ them. As it stands, throngs of employees across the country, especially those at small banks and branches where a handful of employees wear many hats, will face reduced opportunity and flexibility in the workplace.

The final rule sets the salary threshold at the 40th percentile of earnings of full-time salaried workers in the lowest-wage region identified by the U.S. Census Bureau – currently the South. The salary threshold in the final rule is nearly $3,000 lower than when the rule was proposed, a nod to comments from ABA and other groups noting that the rule ignored regional disparities in pay. The salary threshold will automatically update every three years, instead of annually as proposed.

Meanwhile, the salary level for highly compensated employees – at which employers may conduct only a minimal duties test for exemption – will rise from $100,000 to $134,000. Up to 10% of the standard salary level can come from non-discretionary bonuses, incentive payments and commissions, paid at least quarterly.

In response from advocacy by ABA and others, DoL declined to make any changes to the "duties tests" for exemption. ABA will thoroughly review the final rule and provide a staff analysis soon. The association will also hold a briefing on June 16 to help bankers understand how to comply with the final rule and communicate the changes to employees.

Read more about the final rule.
Read ABA's comment letter.

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