June 20, 2016 – The practice of working outside standard work hours is so ingrained in American culture that a majority of full-time salaried employees in the U.S. would work off-the-clock even if it was against company policy. The finding comes from a new survey commissioned by The Workforce Institute at Kronos Incorporated, conducted online by Harris Poll in May 2016, following the Obama Administration's recent update to the overtime rule under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Starting Dec. 1, the updated rule requires that organizations pay overtime to full-time salaried workers who make less than $47,476 per year for working more than 40 hours per week.

The “Obsessed with Overtime: Prepping for FLSA's New OT Rule” survey is the first in a two-part series exploring possible unintended consequences of the regulation. It was conducted from May 25-27, 2016 among 845 full- and part-time employed U.S. adults, ages 18 and older, to explore America's obsession with after-hours work; if white collar organizations are prepared to track time and attendance; and the impact that the new regulations may have on workplace flexibility and employee engagement.

Key Findings

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Poll on behalf of Kronos Incorporated from May 25-27, 2016 among 2,023 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, of whom 845 are full- and part-time employed U.S. adults, including 354 who identified as being a salaried employee. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact daniel.gouthro@kronos.com.

Photo by Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash







WFITopPosts2016And just like that, 2016 is [almost] behind us.

A lot has happened in 2016, in and out of the workplace. But when it comes to topics we covered on this blog, you all had some specific areas of interest. Some of the topics you found most interesting this year included the FLSA overtime changes; employee engagement tips and best practices; part two of our survey regarding how managers, employees, and HR differ when it comes to who owns company culture; and how the SuperBowl affects the workforce the day after the big game, to name a few.

As you enjoy your well-deserved holiday downtime, we hope you'll take a few minutes to read through the top 10 most popular posts we published here at The Workforce Institute in 2016.  And if you have topics you'd like us to write about in 2017 - or even better, if you're interested in contributing to this blog yourself - please let us know by commenting on this post.

Thank you to all of our guest authors in 2016, and Happy New Year!


In this podcast I talk to Sue Meisinger about the US Department of Labor's proposed changes to the FLSA overtime exemption rule for salaried workers.   In July of 2015 the DoL published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, indicating that they would considerably raise the threshold for salaried workers who would be eligible for overtime under the new rules. The impact of the anticipated changes includes a significant change in the minimum salary threshold for exemption from overtime - from $23,660 to $50,554 per year.  The DoL expects the change to positively impact the lives of 5 million white-collar, salaried workers. We anticipate that the final rule will be announced anytime between May and July of this year, providing organizations with a short window of time to comply.

Sue is uniquely qualified to help us understand these changes and what they mean to organizations.  Before her stint as the president and CEO of SHRM, Sue worked for the U.S. Department of Labor for years, overseeing the agency that enforced a number of federal laws around minimum wage, overtime, and child labor. In addition, Sue has a law degree from the National Law Center of George Washington University, and is a member of the District of Columbia Bar Association.

In our conversation, we addressed the questions below.  You can hear our conversation here:

  1. Can you help our audience by providing a layman's overview of the proposed FLSA OT changes and how businesses will need to adjust their practices as you see it?
  1. Do you think organizations are prepared to track their white collar time and labor? In other words, will this be an easy regulation for U.S. companies to comply with and will employees understand what's expected of them?
  2. What are some of the industries you think will be most affected if this proposed rule becomes law?
  3. For those salaried workers who fall into the new OT eligibility bucket, many are folks who work with a flexible schedule. They answer emails at home and all hours of the day. They finish projects on the weekend. They may travel often for sales calls or tradeshows. They also may spend hours during their work day taking mental breaks, paying bills, chatting with colleagues about non-work issues, and surfing the Internet and social media. Would this change open up a major debate into _What is work?' for these types of employees
  4. While the proposed rule change was created with all the best intentions for American families, do you see any unintended consequences brewing for organizations and their employees if this proposal is made law?
  5. While, on the surface, the proposed changes appear to benefit employees at the expense of their employer, is there a silver lining that benefits both employees and companies?
  6. What are critical activities that businesses should start doing today so that they are well-prepared?


This week I spoke with my Workforce Institute colleagues Sue Meisinger and Andy Brantley about the Working Families Flexibility Act currently making its way through Congress.  If passed, this Act would enable private sector employers to offer comp time in lieu of overtime pay to their hourly workers.  This has been the case for public sector employees since 1985.

This change would represent a significant change to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for private sector employers and workers, and the bill has generated a lot of public debate about whether passage of this Act is good or bad for those workers.  Proponents believe this Act will provide workers with needed flexibility.  Detractors believe this is ultimately an anti-worker bill that will result in employers avoiding overtime pay that their workers are due.

Both Sue and Andy have given this legislation a fair amount of consideration in recent weeks. Andy testified before Congress in support of the bill, and Sue wrote about it in this week's HRE online.   Both are skeptical it will ultimately become law. During our conversation, we discussed the following questions:

You can download and listen to a podcast of our conversation here:

Discussion with Andy Brantley and Sue Meisinger about the Working Families Flexibility Act of 2013

If you'd like to learn more about the Act, you can find a collection of supporting documents here.

You may also want to check in on the objections cited by detractors in articles from the Huffington Post, the New York Times, and The Atlantic.

What do you think?  Take our poll and let us know.

[poll id="25"]

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