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April 27, 2004
Task Force Created for New Overtime Regulations
The Department of Labor is preparing to launch a task force to enforce new overtime regulations the department published last week, the Associated Press reports.

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The news agency notes that the task force, which will consist of Wage and Hour Division officials, is an attempt to answer critics' concerns about the new rules covering the white-collar exemptions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The department created the task force because of "our concern that the massive misinformation campaign against the new overtime security rules could undermine efforts to make employers live up to their new obligations under the rule and jeopardize workers' overtime pay protections," Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao tells the AP.

Chao is expected to announce the task force today, according to the AP.

The new rules change the tests for determining eligibility for overtime. The rules raise the salary threshold below which workers are generally guaranteed overtime to $23,660, up from $8,060 under current regulations. The new rules also revise the duties tests for determining status.

The final rules create an exemption from overtime pay for "highly compensated" workers who earn more than $100,000 and who customarily and regularly perform any one or more of the exempt duties or responsibilities of an executive, administrative, or professional employee.

The news agency notes that Democrats and labor unions have criticized the final rules. They say the new rules would make it easier for employers to reclassify workers as exempt from overtime.

Employers generally welcomed the new rules, saying the regulations clarify who is eligible for overtime.

The new rules are effective August 23, 2004.

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