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New Rules Apparently Not Robbing Employees of Overtime Status

September 28, 2004
Related Topics: Latest News
A new survey suggests that the new federal rules spelling out who is and isn’t exempt from overtime aren’t causing large numbers of employees to lose their exempt status.

The HR Policy Association, a lobbying group for large employers, asked more than 100 companies employing more than 6 million employees whether more employees would be receiving overtime under the new rules than under the old regulations. Forty-eight percent of respondents said that they would treat more employees as eligible for overtime, while 49 percent said that there would be little or no change. No companies said that fewer employees would be eligible for overtime.

In conversations with employers, both Workforce Management and the HR Policy Association have found that companies are angering employees as much when they make them eligible for overtime as when they move employees to an exempt status. In other words, white-collar employees upset that they’re now being paid by the hour are a bigger problem than the small number of employees losing their overtime exemption. "There are quite a quite a few employees who want the flexibility of being exempt--and the status," says Tim Bartl, partner and assistant general counsel for the association.

Bartl says that he doesn’t expect Washington lawmakers or regulators to alter the rules at this point, despite rumblings in Congress. "You can never have a sure thing, but I’m hopeful that we’ll not see changes," he says.

Among the other concerns of senior executives who belong to the HR Policy Association: a bill in Congress to change the rules governing non-qualified executive compensation plans, as well as a proposal, supported by many executives in human resources, to allow the electronic filing of I-9 forms.

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