Over the last decade, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has made several attempts to increase the salary threshold for overtime pay for executive, administrative and professional employees. On March 22, DOL released its latest Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to update the overtime pay threshold. The proposal would increase the threshold for employees meeting the job duties criteria for administrative, executive and professional employees from $23,660 to $35,308. To view NACo’s full analysis and a comparison chart between the current law, new proposed overtime rule, and 2016 proposed rule, click here.
If finalized, the rule would impact county governments, as the nation’s 3,069 counties employ more than 3.6 million employees, while providing services to over 316 million county residents. In 40 percent of counties, local governments do not meet the new salary threshold of $35,308. In 47 percent of counties in the South Census region, average wages in local government are less than the $35,308 proposed threshold. Under the 2016 proposed rule, 85 percent of counties overall and 97 percent of counties in the South Census region did not meet the salary threshold ($47,476).
NACo supports the overall goal of providing fair and reasonable wages to its employees and appreciates that DOL’s 2019 NPRM on overtime pay addresses many of the issues raised in our comments to the Department’s Request for Information in 2017. Nevertheless, counties remain concerned that DOL’s latest proposed rule could still negatively impact local governments, particularly rural ones and the communities we serve.