In the summer of 2015, the Obama Administration proposed new overtime pay regulations. The regulations were an attempt to update overtime rules under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). FLSA guarantees overtime pay at a rate of one and one-half the employee’s regular rate of pay for hours worked in excess of 40 in a workweek. The current FLSA has a salary threshold of $23,660 annually ($455 per week), meaning ANY employee making less is eligible for overtime. Employees making over the $23,660 annual threshold are eligible for overtime unless they fall under a specific industry exemption (teachers, doctors, lawyers) or the “white collar exemption.” These exemptions include; executive/managerial, administrative, professional, outside sales and computer employees. The Obama Administration proposed setting the standard salary level at the 40th percentile of earnings of full-time salaried workers in the lowest-wage Census Region, currently the South, meaning an increase in the annual threshold to $47,476 annually for a full-year worker). The Obama Overtime rule was struck down in 2017 by a federal district court in the State of Texas. The Trump Administration is considering a new rule.
In the wake of court rulings curtailing the Obama Administration’s 2016 Overtime Pay rule, and the Trump Administration’s signals that it will propose a new rule, the golf industry has maintained a strong interest in how this issue will be addressed by the federal government. Like many other industries that would have been heavily impacted by the 2016 rule’s new threshold for the executive, administrative and professional (EAP) employee exemption, the golf industry seeks a renewed dialogue with the federal government on this issue.