Meeting Mentor Magazine

August 2020

What’s Up with the Federal Overtime Rule?

Federal regulations that would expand overtime pay for millions of salaried American workers remain in limbo, at least until May 1, 2017.

A Texas District Court’s temporary restraining order, issued in November 2016, halted implementation of the Obama administration’s Department of Labor (DOL) overtime regulations, which were set to expand overtime pay starting December 1, 2016. The Obama administration’s Department of Justice appealed that order and asked for review by a federal appeals court.

The Department of Justice under the Trump administration asked for a delay in the appeal process until March 2, 2017. The department subsequently requested a second extension, until May 1, to submit its brief on the appeal. Delays in President Trump’s appointment of a new Secretary of Labor may be the cause for the extension requests. Confirmation hearings are not yet scheduled for President Trump’s second nominee, Alexander Acosta, who the President nominated after the first nominee, Andrew Puzder, withdrew.

At present, it’s unclear how the Trump administration’s Department of Justice will proceed. It may choose to pursue the appeal as initiated in December 2016; withdraw the DOL rule altogether; or propose a new rule for comment.

With the enforcement of the DOL rule in flux, some employers have chosen to change their payment practices to accommodate the DOL rule. Walmart, for example, increased managers’ salaries and says it will maintain those salary increases regardless of the final ruling. Other businesses are waiting to see what happens with the the DOL’s appeal.

In its December 2016 poll of 1,700 small business owners, Manta, an online resource for small businesses, found that 84 percent of respondents planned to implement new overtime rules even after a federal court put the changes on hold. The poll also found that 42 percent were not aware of the new overtime regulations and may not have been prepared to comply.

The DOL’s new overtime rule raises the minimum salary threshold to qualify for the Fair Labor Standards Act’s exemption from overtime from $455 a week to $913 a week. It also automatically updates the salary threshold every three years. For a backgrounder on what the federal overtime rule entails and how it might affect the meetings industry, see this article in the October 2016 edition of MeetingMentor Online.


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ConferenceDirect is a global meetings solutions company offering site selection/contract negotiation, conference management, housing & registration services, mobile app technology and strategic meetings management solutions. It provides expertise to 2,500 corporations and associations through our 325 Associates globally.

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MeetingMentor, the leading publication for senior meeting planners, is circulated to the clients, prospects and sales associates of ConferenceDirect, which books more than 3.87 million room nights.

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