The FLSA was enacted toward the end of the Great Depression and reflects the realities of the industrial workplace of the 1930s, not the workplace of the 21st century. The current FLSA regulations present practical challenges when classifying positions because decisions are based on both objective and subjective criteria. As a result, employers acting in good faith could mistakenly misclassify employees as exempt who, in reality, should be nonexempt, or vice versa. Rigid FLSA regulations also make it difficult for employers to provide workplace flexibility to nonexempt employees.
While SHRM appreciates the administration’s interest in modernizing the FLSA overtime regulations, it believes that enacting significant changes to the duties test would further exacerbate an already complicated set of regulations for employers, particularly small employers and employers in industries where managers often conduct exempt and nonexempt work concurrently. Substantial changes to the overtime regulations could further limit workplace flexibility for employees.