On October 24, 2019, Nick Reiter was quoted in Law360 regarding states' efforts to expand overtime pay eligibility beyond the threshold set by a recently finalized federal rule.
According to the article, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer told the state's Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity to submit a request for rulemaking to update regulations implementing an exemption letting employers deny overtime to "executive, administrative or professional" workers who make a certain minimum salary.
The move makes Michigan the eighth state to take steps toward revising its overtime regulations amid the U.S. Department of Labor's rollout of a plan to set the federal standard at about $35,000, up from about $23,000. California and New York have recently finalized plans to extend overtime to workers making as much as about $60,000.
Reiter said overtime rules force employers to make a difficult choice between paying covered workers extra when they work long hours and paying them a base salary at or above the threshold. These varying rules are especially difficult for large, multistate employers to navigate, he said.
"They could find themselves paying very different salaries for employees who are performing the same job but performing them in different states," he said, adding that those disparities can lead to worker unrest.