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Proposed Changes to Overtime Rules Would Hurt Dairy Companies

Sep 09, 2015

IDFA filed comments last week on the Department of Labor’s proposed changes to the rules governing overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). While IDFA supports the department’s efforts to streamline the regulations, “the revisions would negatively impact the dairy industry without supporting the goals and purposes of the rule,” the comments said.

Under the act, most workers are guaranteed the right to overtime pay for every hour worked beyond the normal 40-hour workweek. However, it allows exemptions for certain employees, such as qualified white-collar workers, which do not require employers to pay for extra hours worked. The proposed rule would increase the minimum salary level for employees who qualify for the white-collar exemption from $455 per week, or $23,660 per year, to $970 per week, or $50,440 per year. 

“We want to ensure that the department understands the unintended consequences this change would have on the employees it intends to help,” said Emily Lyons, IDFA director of regulatory affairs and counsel.

IDFA made noted several concerns and consequences in the comments, including:

  • The proposed minimum salary level is too high and would not reduce unemployment or ensure that employees are fairly compensated;
  • The proposed salary level would hurt employees because it would cause layoffs, reduce earnings, damage employee morale and satisfaction, and eliminate career growth opportunities;
  • The annual automatic revisions to the minimum salary level are contrary to the FLSA and are not allowed by the Administrative Procedures Act; and
  • The department should issue a new proposed rule regarding changes to the duties test, which examines the responsibilities and pay of individuals to determine whether they qualify for the white-collar exemption.

Read the full comments here.

For more information, contact Lyons at

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