Comment now on US Labor Department’s plan to increase salary minimums to $1,059/week for non-overtime workers

Sep 8, 2023

The U.S. Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division is now receiving comments — in favor of or opposed to — its proposal to lift all exempt employees’ salary minimums to $1,059 per week or $55,068 per year.

All employees are eligible for overtime pay if they work more than 40 hours per week unless they are qualified as exempt employees. For an employee to be classified as exempt, he or she must be paid the minimum salary AND be qualified under a duty-based category, such as executive, professional, administrative, outside sales or computer employees. Each of these duty-based categories is specifically defined by Labor Department.

Most newspaper reporters do not meet any of the tests. Most editors do not meet any of the tests unless they are supervising two or more full-time employees and have a primary duty of managing the enterprise.

Consulting counsel as well as the Labor Department’s Fact Sheet #17A for the definitions is important.

Newspapers with under 4,000 circulation and operated independently (not as part of a group with shared responsibilities) are exempt from the Wage and Hour salary rules.

For employees meeting the duty-based tests, the new salary level would increase by about 55% and would be automatically increased every three years by an inflation adjustment.

The Labor Department will receive comments through Nov. 7.

To comment, visit the Federal Register’s comment page at: