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On March 1, the U.S. Department of Labor sent its Defining and Delimiting the Exemptions for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales, and Computer Employees final rule to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the Office of Management and Budget for final review. The rule would alter overtime regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The review at the OIRA is usually the final step in the process before a rule is officially published in the Federal Register. ABC will be meeting with the OIRA to express its serious concerns about the rule.

On Nov. 7, 2023, ABC submitted comments to the DOL in opposition to the proposed overtime rulemaking, which would increase the minimum salary threshold for exemption by nearly 70%, from the current $35,568 annual salary level to $60,209 annually. The DOL also proposes to significantly raise the total annual compensation needed to qualify for exemption under the streamlined test for highly compensated employees from the current total annual compensation of $107,432 to $143,988. Finally, the DOL proposes to automatically update the standard salary level and the HCE total annual compensation threshold every three years.

ABC issued a press release stating, “ABC called on the DOL to withdraw the new proposed rule, which is unlawful, inconsistent with historic norms and will specifically harm small businesses,” said Ben Brubeck, ABC vice president of regulatory, labor and state affairs. “ABC has consistently told the DOL that there is no compelling reason for an adjustment to the minimum salary threshold for exemption since it was increased roughly four years ago. Most importantly, the DOL should recognize that the construction industry, as well as multiple other industries, is currently up against increased geopolitical uncertainty, high materials prices, inflationary pressures and workforce shortages. Specifically, ABC estimates that the construction industry needs to hire more than half a million workers in 2023 alone. Regrettably, the DOL’s proposed salary level increase will further complicate the current economic outlook.” 

As a steering committee member of the Partnership to Protect Workplace Opportunity, ABC also signed onto coalition comments criticizing the overtime proposed rule, joining 244 national, state and local organizations representing employers from a wide range of private industry and public, nonprofit and education sectors. The PPWO also created a grassroots toolkit for members to respond to the DOL’s overtime proposed rule.