ACCA Submits Comments on Proposed Overtime Rule

April 17, 2019

The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) announces that is has submitted comments supporting the Department of Labor’s proposed overtime rule, Defining and Delimiting the Exemptions for Executive, Professional, Outside Sales, and Computer Employees (Overtime Rule).

On March 7, 2019 the Department of Labor announced that it was proposing to update regulations issued under the Fair Labor Standards Act that implement exemptions from overtime pay requirements for executive, administrative, professional, outside sales, and computer employees. The proposal would increase the minimum salary required for an employee to qualify from being exempt from overtime rates, from the 2004 level of $455 per week to $679 per week, or $35,308 per year.

ACCA opposed the 2016 Obama Administration proposal that would have raised the exempt salary level to $47,476. ACCA led the HVACR industry’s opposition to the 2016 proposal, highlighting the negative impacts the rule would have had on small business and the labor market. ACCA stated that, “[b]esides the paper work and increased costs to run a business, our contractors were concerned for the future of their younger employees. Contractors would have hired fewer managerial positions, which would have signaled to younger staff that there was little opportunity for growth in their companies.”

The 2016 rule was declared invalid by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, and an appeal of that decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit is being held in abeyance pending the completion of the Department of Labor’s rulemaking.

ACCA has worked closely with the Department of Labor, including hosting Secretary Alex Acosta at ACCA’s 2018 Annual Conference. At that time, Secretary Acosta pledged to ACCA that the Trump Administration would address overtime rates in a reasonable manner that protects that ability of HVAC contractors to recruit and retain employees.

ACCA President and CEO, Barton James, stated, “ACCA’s policy leaders believe that the proposal is reasonable and in line with inflation, and any costs associated with this increase could be managed by the businesses responsible for implementing the proposed rule. This is a vast improvement from the previous administration’s proposal and we’re thankful for Secretary Acosta working closely with ACCA to address overtime rates with input from America’s HVAC contractors.”

Read ACCA’s public comments here.

For more information, please contact ACCA’s Director of Industry and External Relations, Todd Washam, at or 703-824-8864.


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ACCA is a non-profit association serving more than 60,000 professionals and 4,000 businesses in the indoor environment and energy services community. Our member firms are the nation's most professional contracting businesses, serving residential and commercial customers in every state. With roots stretching back a century, ACCA was incorporated in its present form nearly 50 years ago. Today, ACCA sets the standards for quality comfort systems, provides leading-edge education for contractors and their employees, and fights for the interests of professional contractors throughout the nation. Learn more about ACCA here.