Much has been made about the U.S. Department of Labor’s recent proposed changes to FLSA exemption classifications – and rightfully so as the changes would be very significant and costly to employers. While it is wise for employers to keep these changes in mind when budgeting for 2016 and to consider an FLSA audit if one has not been recently performed, we caution that these regulatory changes are far from final.
The DOL released these proposed changes for public comment, not for publication. During the 60-day comment period, the DOL received over 290,000 comments which included much critical commentary from the hospitality, non-profit and retail sectors to name a few. With no timetable for the release of the final rules, the results of the Fall 2016 national elections will have a tremendous impact on the likelihood of these changes being implemented as a Republican President is likely to withdraw these regulations.
If your organization plans an FLSA audit, we strongly recommend doing so through the direction of experienced outside legal counsel or in-house counsel in order to protect audit findings under the attorney-client privilege.