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Printing Industry Applauds DOL's Leadership on Overtime Regulation Reform

Press release from the issuing company

ALEXANDRIA, VA -- The Printing Industries of America, representing commercial printers nation-wide, applauds the Department of Labor's leadership in updating the 50-plus year old white collar exemption regulations in the Fair Labor Standards Act.* “The number of complaints we've heard from printers has greatly increased in the last few years because the regulations did not reflect actual work practices in printing companies,” said Wendy Lechner, Senior Director of Federal Policy. “Particularly in the cases of customer service representatives and estimators, the regulations simply did not anticipate the range of job duties these employees perform today.” Some CSRs, in particular, simply enter data into a computer with little direct impact on the company's bottom line. However, other CSRs have the ability to order thousands of dollars worth of materials and can literally stop million dollar presses on their own authority. At first glance, the revised regulations seem to help clarify and differentiate which CSRs should be exempt and which should not. Lechner said, “There has been a critical need for reform for many years. The outdated regulations led to lost work time, poor morale, and expensive legal fees that our printers could ill-afford. The vast majority of printing companies are small businesses. More than anything else, they were seeking a clear roadmap so they could confidently avoid misclassifying employees. These regulations are a significant step forward in bringing certainty to employers and their employees.” According to extensive survey data in the printing industry, most employees will not be affected by the increased minimum and maximum salary thresholds in the new regulations. In rural areas, some lower-paid administrative staff may, for the first time, be guaranteed overtime where they had not received it before when the minimum salary threshold is raised to $23,660. It is highly doubtful that any employees will be affected by the $100,000 top salary threshold. The upper threshold exempts from overtime pay many highly paid employees. “As an industry, we appreciate the willingness of the Department of Labor to take on the enormous challenge of updating the white collar regulations,” said Lechner. “Given the many competing interests involved, it took great courage and vision to undertake this mission. We are grateful to Secretary Elaine Chao and her staff for completing the task.”