By Jill Jusko Reaction was swift to the final rule governing overtime eligibility under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The Department of Labor issued the final rule April 20. The National Association of Manufacturers applauded the Labor Department's decision to tackle the overtime regulation and urged all sides to carefully digest the final rule. The Washington, D.C.-based manufacturing trade association noted that the final rule has been changed from the proposed rule issued last year that drew so much controversy. "Everyone on all sides of this issue would do well to carefully digest all 500-plus pages and keep their powder dry before playing election-year politics," stated NAM Human Resources Policy Vice President Sandy Boyd. Critics of the proposed rule had charged it would eliminate millions of workers' ability to get overtime pay, while proponents had said an overhaul was long overdue. The overtime eligibility regulations had not been "substantially updated" in more than 50 years, the DOL said. Under the new rule, workers earning $23,660 annually or less are guaranteed overtime, according to Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao. The proposed rule had set that base salary level at $22,000 annually. "NFIB [National Federation of Independent Business] is hopeful today's final rule will help reduce lawsuits filed by trial lawyers who are eager to capitalize on the confusion caused by outdated regulations. We will be reviewing the rule to understand better how it will impact our members," said NFIB Senior Vice President Dan Danner in a statement. The Labor Department provides online access to the new rule at www.dol.gov/fairpay.