ALEXANDRIA, VA (March 31, 2003)- The Printing Industries of America (PIA) was recently invited to attend a preview briefing of proposed changes to the current Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The Deparent of Labor (DOL) will officially publish its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal Register today.
PIA played an important and early role in drafting the proposed regulations that are designed to assist small business growth by revising the “white collar” exemption tests for the FLSA. PIA was asked for written input on issues that concern the printing industry including the exemption status of Customer Service Representatives (CSR’s) and the assessment of whether the threshold levels were appropriate for small businesses.
Ben Cooper, PIA’s Executive Vice President for Public Policy, commented, “Business has been seeking changes to this law for many years, and while it is not yet the perfect solution, it is moving in the right direction.”
The DOL recognized that changes were need to better meet 21st century employer classification needs. The current regulations were written in 1949 and mention job classifications that are nonexistent today. The DOL proposes to raise the salary threshold from the current $155 a week to $425 a week, an increase of $270, the largest since the FLSA was first passed in 1938 and the first for weekly pay thresholds since 1975.
The changes will mainly affect professionals whose job descriptions would undergo the FLSA’s Administrative, Executive and Professional tests. With regard to the printing industry, the hope is that job descriptions for CSR’s and Estimators may have a clearer definition of exemption status under the DOL’s new proposal.
DOL Wage and Hour Administrator Tammy D. McCutchen said, “Updating these regulations is long overdue – the types of jobs people do and the skills they need have changed, but the regulations have not. By recognizing the professional status of skilled employees, the proposed regulation will provide them a guaranteed salary and flexible hours.”
For additional information on the PIA’s understanding of the newly proposed regulations, contact Jim Kyger at 703.519.8150 or [email protected]