White Collar Regulations - The Aftermath
by Michael Fox
Although I have been saying it for some time, a plaintiff's lawyer whose firm is one of the leading wage and hour class action firms in the country, lays out his view of what has happened since the white collar exemptions regulations were revised two years ago. Don Nichols of Nichols Kaster & Anderson in Minneapolis was interviewed for a story in the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Overtime disputes fill dockets.
Here's his view:
Nichols believes that the overtime violations have always existed, but that when the overtime regulations were rewritten in 2004, more people started paying attention.
The original draft of the changes placed significant restrictions on who received overtime. But the new regulations were less aggressive.
During the highly public process, though, many people took a close look at the law. After the new regulations came out, some companies reclassified employees so they would now be eligible for overtime, Nichols said. Those employees wondered why, if they are suddenly eligible for overtime, they weren't paid for it for years going back if their jobs didn't change, he said. That, in turn, fueled more claims. (Emphasis added).
The parts in bold are a good short-hand summary of what happened. For my earlier thoughts you can see my posts here