DOL Overtime Rule Proposed

DOL Proposes Expanded Overtime Rule

Overtime eligibility for more than 1 million workers across the United States would be expanded under a March 7, 2019 proposed rule issued by the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor (“DOL”).

Since 2004, employers must pay overtime to salaried employees who receive less than $455 per week ($23,660 annually) for any time spent working over the traditional 40-hour work week. Other workers with higher salaries may be also be eligible for or excluded from overtime depending upon their specific job duties. For example, “highly compensated employees” have a total annual compensation requirement of $100,000 per year.

The DOL attempted to increase the salary threshold in May 2016 and to enact an automatic update provision that would increase that threshold every three years. The change was quickly enjoined by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. Since then, an appeal at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has been held in abeyance as the Department of Labor engaged in further rulemaking on the issue while continuing to enforce the 2004 rule.

Under the proposed rule, the salary threshold would be increased to $679 per week ($35,308 per year). Other workers with high salaries may still be eligible for or excluded from overtime depending upon their specific job duties. For example, the new rule would increase the total annual compensation requirement for “highly compensated employees” to $147,414 per year. Additionally, the new rule would enact special salary levels for employees in the motion picture industry and varying levels for employees in various United States territories.

The proposed rule would not change the job duties test. Nor would it make any changes to the overtime protections for police officers; firefighters; paramedics; nurses; laborers including non-management production-line employees; and non-management employees in maintenance, construction and similar occupations such as carpenters, electricians, mechanics, plumbers, iron workers, craftsmen, operating engineers, longshoremen, and other construction workers.

The proposed rule would not enact automatic adjustments to the salary threshold. Instead, the Wage and Hour Division would make a commitment to periodically review and update the salary threshold after the required notice-and-comment rulemaking process. Additionally, employers will be allowed to use nondiscretionary bonuses and other annual or more frequent incentive payments (such as commissions) to satisfy up to 10 percent of the standard salary level.

“Our economy has more job openings than job seekers and more Americans are joining the labor force,” said Secretary Alexander Acosta. “At my confirmation hearings, I committed to an update of the 2004 overtime threshold, and today’s proposal would bring common sense, consistency, and higher wages to working Americans.”

The Wage and Hour Division held six in-person listening sessions across the nation and received more than 200,000 comments as part of a 2017 Request for Information (RFI) from the public while developing the proposal. Participants in both the in-person listening sessions and RFI overwhelmingly agreed that the overtime salary threshold needed to be increased.

The public comment period will close on May 21, 2019 after remaining open for 60 days.

What this Means for Employment Defense Law Firms and EPLI Panel Counsel

Legal Expert Connections, Inc. recommends, creates, and implements an education-based marketing program for employment defense law firms and practice groups. Educating employers about employment laws in order to insure compliance and avoid litigation is a significant portion of an employment defense lawyer’s work. This article is an example of how we support educational marketing opportunities for employment defense law firms to increase their visibility through blog posts, social media articles, client alerts, and continuing education seminars.

Employment Law Marketing Services for Defense Law Firms and EPLI Panel Counsel

This article is a sample of the content marketing services available from Legal Expert Connections, Inc. (and is not for reuse or republication). We have helped more than 150 insurance defense law firms in 36 states pursue new insurance panel counsel clients and are very familiar with employment practices liability (EPLI) panels.

Legal Expert Connections, Inc. offers three key benefits to insurance defense law firms nationwide:

  1. We are the leading U.S. legal marketing agency specializing in the insurance defense market. We know the panel counsel process and can accelerate your business development efforts by identifying who you need to contact.
  2. You get a structured business development process. We guide your law firm through a proven three-step campaign that brings discipline, focus, and productivity to your marketing efforts.
  3. Increase revenue with professional, Bar-compliant legal marketing campaigns. We do the research to identify insurance panel managers, so you can focus your time on the business development process.

Contact Margaret Grisdela, an insurance defense marketing consultant, at 561-266-1030 or via email. Connect with Margaret Grisdela on LinkedIn.


This article is provided for educational purposes only. It is not to be interpreted as legal advice or an opinion in regard to any topic discussed. The article should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed attorney in your state. Every situation is different and circumstances vary widely depending on the governing state law, policy provisions, and related considerations.

© Legal Expert Connections, Inc. – Not to be used, copied or reproduced without permission.

Recent Settlements

Latest News


margaret grisdela

Margaret Grisdela

Legal Expert Connections, Inc.

We’ve helped 250 insurance defense law firms in 40 states with panel counsel campaigns involving Employment Practices Liability, Professional or Premises Liability, Auto, Trucking, Medical Malpractice, Construction Defects and more. Let us do the same for your firm.

Contact Us to Outsource your Law Firm Marketing

Contact Margaret Grisdela by email or phone toll-free at 561-266-1030 to discuss your law firm marketing needs. We will discuss your business development goals, review your current marketing activities, and talk about how Legal Expert Connections, Inc. might be of service to you.

Scroll to Top