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Airline Service Council Update: NATA Seeks Member Comment on Proposed Overtime Rule

Airline Services Council Update

NATA is requesting your feedback on a Department of Labor initiative to overhaul Federal overtime regulations that could have a significant impact to your business.  

The Department is proposing to update the regulations governing which executive, administrative, and professional employees (white collar workers) are entitled to the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) minimum wage and overtime pay protections. 

The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) focuses primarily on updating the salary and compensation levels needed for white collar workers to be exempt. Under current regulations – last updated in 2004 – employers are required to pay all eligible employees time-and-a-half for any hours they work in excess of 40 hours per week if they make $23,660 or less per year. The proposed rule would more than double that salary threshold to cover all overtime-eligible workers making $50,440 or less per year and be adjusted annually. The NPRM notes (page 38593) that “air carrier employees” are not subject to the FLSA but rather the Railway Labor Act.

In addition, the NPRM is also seeking comments on whether the current duties test is working as intended or needs to be modified. As an example, the Department asks whether employees should be required to spend a minimum amount of time performing work that is their primary duty in order to qualify for exemption.  

The proposal is the result of a directive from President Obama to the Secretary of Labor requesting updated regulations related to who qualifies for overtime pay so that they “once again reflect the intent of the Fair Labor Standards Act, and to simplify the rules so they’re easier for workers and businesses to understand and apply.” The National Federation of Independent Business has criticized the proposal stating it “will make it harder for small employers to promote workers up to management level by creating additional costs and record-keeping headaches.”  

Comments are due September 4th and NATA would like to provide the Department of Labor with the perspective of aviation businesses by gathering specific examples of how your business will be impacted by changes to the current rule.  

We appreciate your consideration of our request. Please contact Megan Eisenstein ( with feedback we can incorporate into our comments. 

All the best,