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U.S. Department of Labor Announced Proposed Rule to Restore and Extend Overtime Protections to 3.6 Million Salaried Workers

September 27, 2023 | Employment Law

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), there is a minimum salary threshold for overtime exemption of $35,568. The Department of Labor has proposed a rule to increase that to $55,068 annually. Employees earning $55,568 or less would receive overtime for hours exceeding 40/week. 


The final rule may be a higher number, possibly up to $60,209, after thorough evaluation of the most recent data.


“For over 80 years, a cornerstone of workers’ rights in this country is the right to a 40-hour workweek, the promise that you get to go home after 40 hours or you get higher pay for each extra hour that you spend laboring away from your loved ones,” said Acting Secretary Julie Su. “I’ve heard from workers again and again about working long hours, for no extra pay, all while earning low salaries that don’t come anywhere close to compensating them for their sacrifices. Today, the Biden-Harris administration is proposing a rule that would help restore workers’ economic security by giving millions more salaried workers the right to overtime protections if they earn less than $55,000 a year. Workers deserve to continue to share in the economic prosperity of Bidenomics.” 

The press release from the DOL followed months of extensive outreach to employers, workers, unions and other stakeholders, which included the department holding 27 listening sessions with more than 2,000 participants to inform the proposed rule.

  • Restore and extend overtime protections to low-paid salaried workers. Many low-paid salaried employees work side-by-side with hourly employees, doing the same tasks and often working over 40 hours a week. But because of outdated and out-of-sync rules, these low-paid salaried workers aren’t getting paid time-and-a-half for hours worked over 40 in a week. The department’s proposed salary level would help ensure that more of these low-paid salaried workers receive overtime protections traditionally provided by the department’s rules.
  • Give workers who are not exempt executive, administrative or professional employees valuable time back. By better identifying which employees are executive, administrative or professional employees who should be overtime exempt, the proposed rule will better ensure that those who are not exempt will gain more time with their families or receive additional compensation when working more than 40 hours a week.
  • Prevent a future erosion of overtime protections and ensure greater predictability. The rule proposes automatically updating the salary threshold every three years to reflect current earnings data.
  • Restore overtime protections for U.S. territories. From 2004 until 2019, the department’s regulations ensured that for U.S. territories where the federal minimum wage was applicable, so too was the overtime salary threshold. The department’s proposed rule would return to that practice and ensure that workers in the U.S. territories subject to the federal minimum wage have the same overtime protections as other U.S. workers.

Upon publication in the Federal Register, the notice of proposed rulemaking will be open for public comment for 60 days. The department will consider all comments received before publishing a final rule. Learn more about the proposed rule and instructions for submitting comments.

If you are a salaried worker earning under $35,568 and were not paid overtime contact us. Your job is your livelihood. When that is threatened by discrimination, harassment or unfair wage practices by your employer, we know how stressful it can be. At Lavi & Ebrahimian, LLP, we help employees in California protect their rights and hold their employers accountable for discrimination and wage and hour violations.