After a single comment by a DOL official let employers know the new overtime regs wouldn’t actually be released in the early part of 2016, more specific information about the targeted release date has surfaced.
And for many employers, the delay couldn’t have come at a better time.
First, an update on the delay. As HR Benefits Alert reported previously, the delay was first mentioned at the ABA Labor & Employment Law Annual Conference in Philadelphia. DOL Solicitor Patricia Smith told attendees the final regs probably wouldn’t be ready until “late” 2016.
Now, the DOL appears to be aiming for the summer as the release date for the final regs. In the agency’s fall 2015 regulatory agenda, the DOL wrote that it’s targeting a July 2016 release date.
Granted, this is still just an estimated release date (nothing is official), but it does provide some insight as to where the DOL’s at with the rules.
37% of companies still in the dark
Until a few weeks ago, employers everywhere were fully expecting the regs to kick in during the early part of 2016. So were HR pros prepared for the drastically increased salary threshold under the new regs ($50,440)? Not even close, according to a recent study of 124 HR professionals by Replicon, an online timesheet software provider.
The study found that an alarming 17% of firms hadn’t even been in compliance with current wage and hour rules in the past year.
Another 37% of HR pros either didn’t know how compliant their organization is with wage and hour rules, or they believed their organizations could use some improvement.
Finally, 67% of HR pros said their company hasn’t conducted a compliance audit in the past year.
Regardless of when the new OT regs actually kick in, not conducting regular wage-and-hour compliance audits is a risky proposition.
As Jose Gaona, the vice president of product strategy at Replicon, puts it:
“Conducting a compliance audit on a regular basis — at least every 12 months — is important to ensure that your company is vigilant against wage and hour regulations.”