HR Brief – January 2017


DOL Overtime Rule Blocked

On Nov. 22, 2016, a federal judge in Texas issued a preliminary injunction, halting the enforcement of the Department of Labor’s (DOL) new overtime rule until further notice. This means employers can continue to follow the current mandates set by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) until any new announcements are made regarding the overtime rule.

The rule, originally scheduled to take effect on Dec. 1, 2016, would have increased the salary threshold for the “white collar overtime exemptions” to $47,476 per year. This prompted some employers to make adjustments ahead of the rule deadline.

Employers who already adjusted salaries and employee classifications have the ability roll back those changes, but should consider employee morale before simply retracting those adjustments. It is important for the HR department to clearly communicate next steps to applicable employees, so they aren’t left speculating.

The Future of the Overtime Rule

There is much uncertainty surrounding the overtime rule’s future, but it could still be implemented down the road. With this in mind, some employers may keep their adjustments, while others may roll back the changes until a final decision is made.

Other political entities like Congress or President-elect Donald Trump could further delay the rule, or take action to strike it down completely; however, it is not clear what approach would be taken to accomplish either scenario.

Overtime Rule Takeaways

  • A federal court ruled that the overtime rule wil not take effect on Dec. 1 as scheduled.
  • Congress of the Trump administration may take action in the future to change or block the overtime rule.
  • Employer should watch for future developments on the overtime exemption rules.

Handling Election Tension in the Office

Politics are an especially polarizing force that separate us from one another. That divide is felt at home, in public and even in the workplace—where it can be particularly disruptive, according to a Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) article.

After the election, some employees reported coming into work with feelings of grief, sadness, lethargy and dread for the future. Political discussions sprang up and increased tension between workers, causing some to lose focus on their actual work duties.

After such a contentious election, it’s important to keep workplace conversations professional. Here are some tips for avoiding conflicts with co-workers:

  • Vent to those with similar political views outside of the office.
  • Don’t gloat or sulk over the election—whichever is the case.
  • Don’t indulge polarizing arguments.
  • Encourage managers to listen and halt disruptive political conversations.