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An FLSA Birthday


I was about to hit a new decade. I was on the brink of leaving a stage in life I would never be part of again.  Was I ready?

While I endured the approach of December 1, 2016, I realized I wasn’t the only one dreading my birthday. Employers across the country were scrambling in trepidation. But for a different reason.

December 1, 2016, was the day the new FLSA overtime regulations were to go into effect.  Employers could no longer classify employees as exempt from overtime if they didn’t earn a minimum salary.  All those “managers” and “supervisors” paid less than $47,476 would soon need their hours tracked and be paid time and a half for hours over 40 in a week.

It seemed my birthday was a contentious date. 21 states and numerous business groups filed lawsuits to stop the ruling from going into effect, saying the Department of Labor had exceeded its authority.  In a surprise move, 10 days before D-Day, a Texas district court halted the new rule from taking effect.

December 1, 2016, a day that was supposed to go down in history as a new reality for over 4 million workers across the nation, passed without a peep.

Well, almost.  I did turn 30. The lawsuits didn’t stop that. But I chose to embrace it. Whether we are ready or not, change happens, and often not in ways we would have predicted. Sometimes it takes 10 years, and sometimes just 10 days. So while waves of employer relief and employee disappointment broke all around me, I couldn’t stop thinking that life is full of surprises.

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