New Overtime Regulations
On Jan. 25, AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology joined more than 100 organizations in a letter to Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh urging the Department of Labor (DOL) to hold stakeholder meetings before the development and issuance of its anticipated proposed rulemaking on the “white collar” exemptions to the overtime regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
In the letter, the organizations explained, “This will be a significant rulemaking with respect to cost, difficulty in implementation and impact on the workforce, particularly given the current acute labor shortages. Our organizations urge DOL to follow past precedents and hold meetings with the regulated community to obtain input on the potential impact of any changes to the overtime exemption requirements.”
In December, DOL announced its intention to review and update Fair Labor Standards Act regulations regarding the overtime threshold. The current threshold is $35,568 per year or $684 per week, effective Jan. 1, 2020. Secretary Walsh has stated he thinks that’s too low.
AMT position: DOL would benefit from stakeholder input on the current economic situation and the potential impact of new overtime regulations on the workforce and economy. Past administrations have held such meetings, and the employer organizations strongly urge the Biden DOL to follow suit. Given the vast increases in remote work and concerns around historic increases in inflation, DOL needs to gather input before issuing a proposed regulation.
OSHA Withdraws Vax-or-Test Requirement
Acknowledging that further litigation was unlikely to succeed in light of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision, OSHA decided to withdraw its Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) vaccine mandate. The ETS stated that private-sector U.S. employers with 100 or more employees must either get the COVID-19 vaccine or comply with weekly testing and masking requirements. Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked enforcement of the ETS, ruling that OSHA lacked the authority to issue such a mandate.
For now, employers and employees don’t need to vaccine or test under federal law. However, there is still a possibility that vaccine-or-test could come back in a different form. AMT will continue to monitor developments.