DOL Final Rule on Exempt Employee Salary Thresholds

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Cory D. Halliburton

Cory D. Halliburton



Cory Halliburton serves as general counsel and business adviser to a nationwide nonprofit / tax-exempt client base, as well as for multi-state professional service companies. He is a results-oriented attorney, with executive-level strategy and an understanding of the intersection of law and business judgment. With a practical upbringing, he pushes for process-driven results in internal governance, strategy and compliance with employment law, and complex or unique contracts and business relationships.

He dedicated the first ten years of his practice to mainly commercial litigation matters in West Texas and the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. During that experience, Mr. Halliburton transitioned his practice to a more general counsel role, with an emphasis on nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations, advising those organizations through formation, dissolution, litigation, governance, leadership succession, employment law, contracts, intellectual property, tax exemption issues, policy creation, mergers and other. He has served as borrower’s counsel for tax-exempt bond and loan transactions near $100 million aggregate; some with complex pre-issue construction, debt payoff and other debt financing challenges.

Mr. Halliburton also serves as outside legal and business advisor for executive professionals in multi-state engineering firms, with a focus on drafting and counsel on significant service agreements, employment law matters, and protection of trade secrets.

On July 1, 2024, the Department of Labor’s final rule on exempt employee compensation thresholds went into effect.  Each of the regulations sections 541.100 (executive employee), .200 (administrative employee), and .300 (professional employee) have been updated to refer to the minimum salary compensation levels now stated in section 541.600.

29 C.F.R. § 541.600 now provides:

To qualify as an exempt executive, administrative, or professional employee . . . , an employee must be compensated on a salary basis at a rate per week of not less than the amount set forth in paragraphs (a)(1) through (3) of this section, exclusive of board, lodging or other facilities, unless paragraph (b) or (c) of this section applies [which are likely inapplicable to TBM]. Administrative and professional employees may also be paid on a fee basis, as defined in § 541.605.

(1) Beginning on July 1, 2024, $844 per week (the 20th percentile of weekly earnings of full-time nonhourly workers in the lowest-wage Census Region and/or retail industry nationally).

(2) Beginning on January 1, 2025, $1,128 per week (the 35th percentile of weekly earnings of full-time nonhourly workers in the lowest-wage Census Region).

            (3) As of July 1, 2027, the level calculated pursuant to § 541.607(b)(1).

The threshold for highly-compensated employees is now an amount not less than $132,964.

See DOL Final Rule information here.

It is advisable for employers to evaluate salary compensation levels and job descriptions for employees who are treated as exempt from the overtime and recordkeeping rules applicable to exempt and non-exempt employees. Budgets may also need review and adjustment to accommodate any increased salary levels that may be necessary for compliance with the DOL’s final rule.

For religious organizations, it is a reminder to also review and update job descriptions with a focus on and inclusion of as many of the minister-employee factors as the position’s actual duties will truthfully accommodate in accordance with Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church & School v. EEOC, 565 U.S. 171 (2012) and its progeny.