button Vol. 7
No. 5



line Non-union

line Obesity In
The Workplace

line Productivity
Or Push?

line English-only

line Update On
Overtime Rules

line Briefs

Braun Consulting News
News on Personnel, Labor Relations and Benefits

See our Archive Pages for Back Issues of Braun Consulting News!

Human Resources and labor relations Update On FLSA Overtime Act

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On May 4th, 2004 the Senate passed the Harkin amendment as an amendment to the FSC/ETI bill (S. 1637), by a vote of 52 to 47.

The passage of this amendment effectively stops the implementation of the new regulation changes to the FLSA proposed by DOL, which were set to take effect on August 23rd.

Labor Secretary Elaine Chao said after the Senate vote, "As the issue moves to the House, we will continue to expose the misinformation campaign against the rules..."

In April the Administration and DOL announced some changes in the proposed revision of the FLSA. Among them were provisions stating that police, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and other "first responders" would be eligible for overtime, as well as an explicit statement that blue collar workers such as carpenters, plumbers and electricians are entitled to overtime pay.

The regulations were also changed to clarify that veterans may not be denied overtime on the basis of their military training or experience. The revised rules also provide for overtime eligibility for salaried workers who earn up to $23,660, rather than the $22,1000 originally proposed.

The ultimate fate of these proposed changes is unclear.

For the amendment to become law, the U.S. House of Representatives would have to agree it is part of a corporate tax bill, and that is far from certain.

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Checkmark Graphic Quotes

"The administration is just clearly misleading the Congress and it's misleading the American public about the impact of these regulations," says Rep. George Miller, D-Calif.

"I am deeply concerned about this campaign of misinformation," Labor Secretary Elaine Chao told a congressional hearing, insisting the regulations would increase, not decrease, overtime protection.

"There has been a lot of happy talk out of the Department of Labor, but the fact is that this regulation is riddled with loopholes, potentially making millions of Americans earning as little as $23,600 vulnerable to losing their overtime," said Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, who sponsored the latest amendment stopping the changes from taking effect.

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Checkmark Graphic Procedural History

  • March 31, 2003
    The DOL proposes revision of the FLSA regulations, which would redefine eligibility requirements for overtime pay for American workers.

  • September 10, 2003
    The Senate approves the Harkin amendment to the Labor, HHS, and Education Appropriations Bill (H.R. 2660), which would have prevented the DOL from instituting the rule, by a vote of 54 to 45.

  • October 2, 2003
    The House instructs its conferees to agree with the Senate on the Harkin amendment to H.R. 2660 by a vote of 221 to 203.

  • November 2003
    Conference Committee reports a bill with no reference to the overtime pay issue after deleting the Harkin amendment.

  • April 21, 2004
    The Bush Administration and the DOL announce their final rules and changes to the FLSA.

  • May 4, 2004
    The Senate passes the Harkin amendment again, this time to the FSC/ETI bill (S. 1637), by a vote of 52 to 47.

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Checkmark Graphic For More Information

To read more about the history of this issue you can read our previous articles outlining in more detail the history and implications of these proposed changes.

Braun Consulting Group Winter 2003 Newsletter:
FLSA Update

Braun Consulting Group Summer 2003 Newsletter:
Overtime Is About To Change

Braun Consulting Group Summer 2003 Newsletter:
Links to Text of Two Versions of HR 1119

U.S. Department Of Labor Web Site

If you have questions about overtime rules in your workplace
contact us at Braun Consulting Group.

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Briefs Next Page

The Contents of this News Letter are intended for general information
and should not be construed as legal advise or opinion.
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