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Defining and Delimiting the Exemption

Thursday, October 5, 2017  
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Ms. Melissa Smith

Director of the Division of Regulations, Legislation, and Interpretation

Wage and Hour Division

U.S. Department of Labor

Room S–3502

200 Constitution Avenue, N.W.

Washington, DC 20210

                Re:     Defining and Delimiting the Exemption for Executive,

Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales, and Computer Employees; Request for Information (RIN 1235-AA20) (82 Fed. Reg. 34616, July 26, 2017)

Dear Ms. Smith:

This response to the request for information related to the executive, administrative, professional, outside sales, and computer employee exemptions from the overtime requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is submitted on behalf of the Partnership to Protect Workplace Opportunity (PPWO). The PPWO consists of a diverse group of associations, businesses, non-profits and other stakeholders representing employers with millions of “white-collar” employees across the country in almost every industry who were (or who would have been) impacted by the Department of Labor’s (DOL or the Department) 2016 Final Rule that nearly doubled the existing required minimum salary level.

The PPWO’s members believe that employees and employers alike are best served with a system that promotes maximum flexibility in structuring employee hours, career advancement opportunities for employees, and clarity for employers when classifying employees. We applaud the Department’s review of these issues pursuant to President Trump’s Executive Order 13777. As was clear before the U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas invalidated it, the 2016 Final Rule’s salary level created (or was expected to create) significant additional costs, and disruptions in operations, often resulting in identical pay to an employee for identical hours worked, but with dramatic increases in costs for an employer to monitor and ensure compliance. Revisiting the 2016 Final Rule’s salary level is entirely appropriate and consistent with an effort to lower unnecessary regulatory burdens.

Although detailed data is unavailable, anecdotal evidence provided by employers who belong to PPWO member groups suggests that the 2016 Final Rule’s salary level, had it become effective, would have:

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