Federal Overtime Regulations and the Ad Industry


On May 17, 2016 the U.S. Department of Labor announced changes to overtime compensation for full-time/salaried workers across the U.S. This impacts advertising agencies due both to their unique workforce composition as well as the salary levels affected by the changes.

What It Means:

The new rule, “Defining and Delimiting the Exemptions for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales and Computer Employees,” increases the current salary level subject to overtime (OT) pay from the previous threshold of $23,660 per year to a new threshold of $47,760.00 per year. Full-time/exempt employees within these classes and pay ranges will become newly eligible for OT pay.

The new regulation will put an enormous compliance burden on ad agencies within a narrow period of time (less than a year) as HR managers scramble to convert employees to hourly tracking schedules.

What the 4A’s Is Doing:

4A’s has worked proactively, from the moment the draft rule was proposed in 2015, to improve key provisions that would have otherwise adverse affects—on both agencies and their employees.

Is It Working?

Thanks to these efforts—and continued lobbying (below)—the final OT pay rule is more manageable for agencies to implement in a number of respects:

We’re Continuing to Work for You

Despite these improvements, the 4A’s Washington team continues to lobby members of Congress who oversee labor department funding and policy. These include members of the House Appropriations Committee, the House Education and Workforce Committee, the Senate Committee for Health Education Labor and Pensions and the various sub-committees.

More Information:

Read more about 4A’s advocacy on the new Federal OT Pay Rule:

“Expect Disruption With New Overtime Rules” (MediaLife, May 24, 2016)

“How The 4A’s Is Tackling the Overtime Pay Issue in Washington” (Campaign US, March 31, 2016)

“The Big Payback—Agencies Brace for Obama’s New Overtime Rules” (Campaign US, March 28, 2016)

Content Related to Regulation

4A’s Presents Concerns with California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)

Government Relations

Alison Pepper, SVP, 4A’s Government Relations, delivered a statement at the California Attorney General’s hearing in Fresno, regarding member agencies’ concerns about the California Consumer Privacy Act. Issues include consent, the use of publicly available data, and the conflation of pseudonymized data and personal information.

As More States Legalize Marijuana, Advertising and Marketing Regulations Come Into Focus

Davis & Gilbert discuss the latest rules California has set in regulating the advertising, promotion, and marketing of recreational marijuana, and how these rules could impact other states.

California Employment Law Changes You Need to Know

Management Services

Frankfurt Kurnit Klein+Selz provides a handy summary of the legislative changes affecting hiring practices, employment agreements, employee classification, training, and more in California.

Employment Laws NY Employers Need to Know in 2019

Management Services

New York employers may still be reeling from all of the employment law changes in 2018. Moses & Singer discusses ten important changes in the law employers want to make sure they are implementing in 2019.

4A’s Files Comments On Drug Pricing Transparency

Marketing & Communications

The 4A’s filed comments in December on proposed regulations by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) that would require all TV advertisements featuring prescription drugs and biological products to include the list price.

FTC Brings Action Against PR Agency and Publisher for Misleading Online Endorsements and Deceptively Formatted Advertising

Davis & Gilbert discuss the FTC’s settlement with a public relations agency and its CEO, as well as a magazine publisher and its sole owner, alleging claims that they misrepresented paid endorsements as independent consumer opinions and commercial advertising as independent journalistic content.

1-800 Contacts Unlawfully Restricted Competitors’ Trademark Use in Search Engine Marketing

Davis & Gilbert highlights the FTC’s recent decision that agreements reached by 1-800 Contacts, Inc. with a number of its competitors unlawfully restricted the competitors’ ability to engage in search engine marketing, to the detriment of both consumers and search engines.

4A’s Comments on “Developing the Administration’s Approach to Consumer Privacy”

Government Relations

Read the two sets of comments the 4A’s submitted in response to the request for public comments on “Developing the Administration’s Approach to Consumer Privacy,” a September 26 notice by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

DAA Leads New Effort To Increase Transparency In Political Advertising

Government Relations

The 4A’s, working via its Board membership in the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA), help drive a self-regulatory solution to increase transparency in political advertising.

Kavanaugh and Commercial Speech

Government Relations

Learn what the advertising and marketing community can expect to see from our newest Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh on the topic of commercial speech. While his record of opinions is not extensive enough to draw a clear conclusion, it does suggest that Justice Kavanaugh will be inclined to side with the government, but not to extremes.

ICC Advertising and Marketing Communications Code 2018

Research Services

The International Chamber of Commerce’s Advertising and Marketing Communications Code is a global self-regulatory framework that seeks to identify the do’s and don’ts for responsible marketing. The code gives best practices to follow to ensure legal, honest, decent and truthful communications.

FTC Announces Plans to Hold Hearings On Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century

The FTC announced plans to hold a series of hearings examining competition and consumer protection in the 21st Century. The Commission has indicated that the hearings will seek to discover “whether broad-based changes in the economy, evolving business practices, new technologies, or international developments might require adjustments to competition and consumer protection, enforcement law, enforcement priorities and policy.”