Every August, the U.S. Congress leaves Washington, D.C., for a month-long break. During that time, we often see increased regulatory action to fill the federal policymaking void. We are receiving word to, again, expect a busy month ahead as the Labor Department prepares to finalize two significant actions.

On July 12, the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division sent to the White House for their review a proposed rule potentially making millions more workers eligible for overtime payments. The current threshold for non-exempt salaried employees is $35,568, meaning those earning below that amount are typically eligible for time-and-a-half. Sources in Washington indicate that the Biden administration may increase the level to allow those earning below $50,000 to become eligible, with some believing they may set the threshold closer to $55,000, while indexing it to increase along with inflation periodically. While we do not have the proposed rule’s language, they could see to finalize the regulation quickly with requirements taking effect as soon as January 2024. 

Separately, on July 17, the White House completed its review and posted for public inspection OSHA’s final rule requiring manufacturing and other employers with 100 or more employees to electronically file their Forms 300, 301 and 300A, whereas the current requirement for e-filing all three annually is for firms with 250 or more workers. OSHA publishes publicly their recordables statistics, without explanation, which can often create a false impression of dangerous industries. This effort dates back to similar attempts under the Obama administration reversed by former President Trump’s Labor Department.

Stay tuned for a busy August. Even if the legislators are gone, the regulators are keeping the lights on.