The Department of Labor has proposed a new rule regarding overtime and seeks comment

29 August 2015 – The Department of Labor (DOL) has proposed a new rule regarding the overtime exemptions in the Fair Labor Standards Act (click here to view the proposed rule).

United Contract Attorneys is working to make sure the DOL knows about contract attorney working conditions and wages, and is asking you to submit a COMMENT, by September 4, 2015.

They have suggested the following:

 

1. You can click here to submit a comment.

 

2.  You can write your own comment or you can copy and paste the following sample which they have drafted:

 

a. It’s time to update the overtime exemptions to to provide temporary legal workers with overtime compensation because the legal industry has changed and the regulations exempting attorneys are based on outdated presumptions about our profession. We demand an exception to the professional exemption for document review attorneys because we do routine work, are paid low wages as compared to the traditional attorney, and we’re overworked – the exact kind of workers that FLSA intended to protect.

 

b. I am a document review attorney hired on an as needed or temporary basis, project by project.

 

c. My average rate of pay is $____per hour.  My average work week is ____ hours per week and last year I made $_________.

 

d. I have $_________ in student debt.

 

e. I work for agencies contracted by law firms, and my work is routine – reviewing thousands of documents for relevance as part of litigation preparation. I DO NOT go to court, write briefs or memorandum, conduct legal research, meet with clients or perform other duties consistent with the entirety of the practice of law.

 

f. My low hourly rate and routine job duties reflect a distinction between me and other attorneys paid professional wages such as the median salary of $113,400. [1]

 

g.  Given the routine work easily transferable to other workers, low rates, excessive hours, lack of benefits, and larger student debt burden, document review attorneys should be entitled to overtime pay, similar to highly compensated employees, and should not be included under the FLSA’s overtime exemption for lawyers.  The presumption that all attorneys make a “professional” salary is outdated because there are at least 14,000 document review attorneys like myself working in this “temporary” industry nationwide.[2]

 

h. Furthermore, using a weekly wage for the salary basis test is also outdated given the growing contingent workforce, with some temporary document review assignments lasting for as little as 2 weeks. Therefore, an hourly wage test should be used instead while also considering average student debt per industry.

 

 

 

To learn more about United Contract Attorneys click here.

 

About the Author Gregory P. Bufithis, Esq.

Gregory P. Bufithis is the Founder & Chairman of The Posse List. He has over 25 years of experience in intellectual property law and digital media in the U.S. and Europe.

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