New Department of Labor rule extends overtime pay to millions

A final Department of Labor (DoL) regulation released May 18 on overtime will likely have a large-scale effect on employers and industries, including community pharmacies.

A final Department of Labor (DoL) regulation released May 18 on overtime will likely have a large-scale effect on employers and industries, including community pharmacies. The final rule, which will take effect on December 1, 2016, doubles the salary threshold—from $23,660 to $47,476 per year—under which most salaried workers are guaranteed overtime. APhA expressed concerns to the DoL that the new rules could adversely affect community pharmacies. The concern stems from the fact that practicing physicians—including medical residents—are not entitled to a minimum salary or overtime because they qualify for an exemption for the practice of medicine. According to APhA, pharmacy residents should qualify for the same exemption as medical residents because pharmacists cannot accept a residency until they have completed their PharmD. "Without enough time to plan for salary increases, community pharmacies as well as small businesses may face budget constraints and some may be forced to discontinue these programs that assist in training pharmacists as clinical care providers," APhA warned. In addition, pharmacy technicians may be affected by the DoL final rule, depending on their job duties.