HR Policy Comments on DOL's Overtime Rules, Implications of Artificial Intelligence

September 15, 2017

This week, the Association filed comments on the Department of Labor's information request on the Fair Labor Standards Act overtime rules, expressing the need to update the regulations as artificial intelligence redefines what it means for employees to exercise discretion and independent judgement in the 21st century workplace.  The Association noted the degree to which technology is already disrupting and/or complementing traditional workplace duties, and is likely to increasingly do so in the near future.  While specifically addressing the questions raised in the RFI, the comments also called on DOL to:

  • Address the impact personal digital assistants and smartphones have had on the 1940s and '50s definition of "de minimis" time worked, and what is considered compensable commute time;

  • Develop additional up-to-date examples of what types of employees meet the administrative, professional, and computer employee exemptions; and

  • Consider establishing a safe harbor for employers who clearly communicate the requirement that work outside of normal working hours must be both authorized and recorded.
The Department published the RFI just before a District Court struck down the 2016 final overtime rule and it is not clear when, or if, DOL will proceed with any future FLSA rulemaking.