FROM THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, NOV. 11, 2015

Employers have been scrambling to prepare for a new rule that will sharply increase the number of U.S. workers who are eligible for overtime pay. But they may have more time than they thought.

The Labor Department’s final rule on overtime eligibility isn’t likely to appear before late 2016, Solicitor of Labor Patricia Smith said at a panel discussion recently, according to several people who were in attendance. Employers had been expecting the rule to go into effect late this year or early next.

representatives of the agency weren’t immediately available to comment.

In June, the agency proposed raising the salary limit for who is eligible for overtime pay from $23,660 per year to $50,400, a change that would put millions more U.S. workers in line for overtime pay and span occupations as diverse as graphic designers and business analysts.

About 270,000 people and organizations submitted comments to the Labor Department on the proposed change, more than three times the number received when the rules were last changed in 2004. Ms. Smith said that the lengthy time needed to finish drafting the regulation was due to the volume of comments and the complex nature of the change, according to attendees.