Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer

Sunday, May 09, 2004

Wage and Hour Regulations - What Else You May Feel - What A Mess

Regardless of your view on the now published and theoretically to become effective August 23, 2004 regulations revising the white collar regulations that regulate the most common exemptions to the wage and hour law, you would have to agree that the process is nothing less than a mess. There is surprisingly little comment in this week end's news, although the story is far from finished. For a quick recap of the week's happenings see the CBS MarketWatch story,Senate votes to block new overtime regulations. However, it was not only the Harkin amendment that passed but also the Gregg amendment, which permanently exempts 55, many not well described occupations. What would happen if all of this became law would be a hopelessly confused situation, where you now might have to analyze exemptions under the old regulations, the new regulations, and the Gregg amendment and in order to be exempt it would have to pass all three. So much for simplicity. Of course both the Gregg and Harkin amendments have to complete the Congressional gauntlet and if they should, the President will then have a tough election year choice. Hard to predict what will happen, but pretty easy to know that it will be a mess no matter what.

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