• August Interview: Karen Morinelli on the Fair Labor Standards Act

August Interview: Karen Morinelli on the Fair Labor Standards Act

August Interview: Karen Morinelli on the Fair Labor Standards ActOur August interview with Karen Morinelli focuses on the Fair Labor Standards Act.


Q: On June 30th, the Department of Labor’s Wage & Hour Division (WHD) announced its proposal to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Regulations; what are the proposed amendments?

A: Among the sweeping changes included in the proposal is a call for an increase in the minimum salary for the executive, administrative, and professional exemptions from $455 per week – $23,660 annually – to a salary not less than $921 per week which annualizes to $47,892. The DOL proposes to increase the minimum salary level to the 40th percentile of weekly earnings for full-time salaried workers. Similarly, the Department of Labor is proposing to increase the minimum salary for highly compensated employees to an annual compensation of $122,148.

The DOL is also considering an option to permit employers to include certain non-discretionary bonuses and other payments as part of an exempt employee’s salary in order to meet any new salary level test. The agency suggested that such payments could constitute 10 percent of an employee’s salary and that such bonuses be paid on a monthly basis, if not more frequently.

Q: Will all employers be affected?

A: All employers covered by the FLSA should expect to be impacted.

Q: When do you expect the changes to be finalized?

A: Following publication in the Federal Register on July 6, 2015, the next step will be the submission of written comments regarding the proposed regulations. The DOL is required to review the comments prior to issuing final regulations and this review process likely will take 12 or more months. The notice and comment period will run for 60 days. All affected employers should plan to submit comments to the DOL in response to the proposed regulations.

Q: Is there anything employers should do now?
A: Yes, in addition to submitting comments to the DOL, employers should seek the advice of counsel in conducting an internal audit of their timekeeping and payroll practices in advance of any implemented changes. They should also make sure they read all articles and attend training on the changes as they are announced and train all responsible personnel on the changes and what that means to them and their workforce.


Karen M. Morinelli is a Shareholder in the Tampa office of Ogletree Deakins. As former General Counsel and Vice President of Human Resources, she brings a strong business perspective to both client relations and in her approach to manage client issues. She can be reached at karen.morinelli@ogletreedeakins.com

By |August 25th, 2015|Monthly Interviews|Comments Off on August Interview: Karen Morinelli on the Fair Labor Standards Act

About the Author:

Jean (JJ in HR) is a certified senior-level human resources executive/consultant, adjunct professor, management trainer, professional speaker, resume writer, career coach, LinkedIn profile builder, and published author.

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