Breaking: New Federal Overtime Rules Take Effect January 1

Agency’s Action Adds To Heavy Slate Of New Employment Laws In 2020

This morning, September 24, 2019, the US Department of Labor (DOL) published its final overtime rule. You can find it in full on the DOL’s website. The final rule is effective January 1, 2020, giving employers about 100 days to review and adjust the pay of their exempt workforce to comply with the law.

4 Key Takeaways Of The New Rules

  • The new rule increases the salary level for the white-collar exemptions (executive, administrative, and professional). New salary level for white collar exemptions will be $684 per week ($35,568). Currently, the required salary is $455 per week ($23,660).
  • The new salary level for highly compensated employees will be $107,432. Currently, the required salary level is $100,000.
  • The rule permits employees to use non-discretionary bonuses and incentive payments (including commissions) that are paid at least annually to satisfy up to 10 percent of the standard salary level.
  • The new rule makes no changes to the duties tests for any exemptions and does not provide for automatic annual increases.

What Illinois Employers Should Do Now

This new rule adds another task to a long list of compliance actions employers must take to ready their organizations for long list of new laws taking effect this month and in 2020.

At a minimum, employers should check their white-collar exempt workers’ salaries to determine if they will remain above the salary threshold necessary to maintain exempt status; and plan for any necessary adjustments to take effect by January 1.

Beyond that, employers must also plan for other new employment laws, specifically:

1. Amendments to the Illinois Equal Pay Act (effective September 2019), which ban pay history inquiries and prohibits employers from requiring workers to sign contracts that prevent them discussing their pay with coworkers and others, with some exceptions. Details can be found here.

2. New EEO-1 Disclosure Rules, which require employers who file EEO-1 reports to provide pay data for the EEOC for 2017 and 2018 under component 2 of the EEO-1 report by September 30, 2019. Details can be found here.

3. Amendments to the Illinois Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act (effective January 1, 2020), which change discrimination and drug testing laws to account for the decriminalization of recreational marijuana use. Details can be found here.

4. Amendments to the Illinois Human Rights Act (effective January 1, 2020) that expand anti-discrimination protections to virtually every employer with as few as one worker, requires employers to provide annual sexual harassment prevention training, and requires employers to disclose annually to the State adverse rulings and certain settlements from the prior year. Details can be found here.

5. Chicago’s “Fair Workweek Ordinance” (effective July 1, 2020), a predictive scheduling ordinance which requires employers to give employees their schedules in advance and sets employee pay at a higher rate when changes are made to work schedules. More details are available here.

6. The Workplace Transparency Act (effective January 1, 2020), which places restrictions on employee confidentiality agreements, and prohibits employers from requiring employees to waive, arbitrate or diminish an existing or future claim related to unlawful employment. Details can be found here.


Never miss an update from Savine Employment Law, Ltd! Subscribe to our blog by clicking the feed icon next to our social icons. You must have a feed reader installed on your browser. We like feedly. Or, join the conversation on social media through our presence on LinkedIN, Facebook and Twitter.


Gary Savine is an Illinois employment lawyer and founder of Savine Employment Law, Ltd. in Chicago. Gary regularly advises human resources professionals on recently enacted employment laws.


Photo credit:
© Can Stock Photo / cbenjasuwan