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Congressional Move to Delay DOL’s Overtime Rules

Written by: Don Benson, Esq.

Despite the threat of a presidential veto and numerous Democratic objections, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 246-to-177 on September 28, 2016 to delay by an additional six months the U.S. Department of Labor’s Rule raising the threshold for exemption to overtime pay.

DOL’s new Rule is set to take effect Dec. 1, 2016. The new DOL Rule would raise the minimum salary threshold required to qualify for the Fair Labor Standards Act’s executive, administrative and professional “white collar” exemptions to $47,476 per year, from the current threshold of $23,660.

A similar bill has been introduced in the U.S. Senate.

The Hill reports that “Legal challenges against the rule are piling up. On Tuesday of last week, 21 states filed a lawsuit against the Labor Department and more than 55 Texas and national business groups filed a suit of their own on the same day. The groups, which include the U.S. Chamber of Commerce claim the rule violates the Fair Labor Standards Act and exceeds the agency’s rulemaking authority.”

Employers are currently caught in the middle of (1) planning to comply with a December 1 implementation of the new DOL Rules and (2) a possible change in Administrations in the next election. Yet, it is also possible that even if Republicans win the Presidency and the next Administration announces plans to reverse the new Rule that there would be a window from December 1 until the Inauguration of a new President when the new Rules would be in effect.

Many employers will be watching developments in Congress closely while continuing their plans to comply with the current proposed changes.