2017 Request for Information
On July 26, 2017, the Department of Labor (DOL) published a Request for Information (RFI) on federal overtime pay regulations. Comments will be accepted until September 25, 2017.
The RFI is the first action by DOL regarding overtime pay regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act since a federal court blocked a 2016 rule to increase the minimum salary level for exempt employees from $455 per week ($23,660 per year) to $913 per week ($47,476 per year).
2016 Court Ruling
A federal district court in Texas issued a nationwide temporary hold on implementation of the Overtime Final Rule on Nov. 22, 2016. Because of the injunction, the federal overtime rule did not go into effect on December 1.
Twenty-one Governors and Attorneys General filed suit in federal court on Sept. 19, 2016 claiming that the DOL exceeded its authority under the FLSA and unlawfully infringed upon states’ budgets by enacting the new rules. Siding with the states, Federal Judge Amos Mazzant held that the exemption is clearly based on the duties that individual employees perform and DOL lacked authority to create a different or higher standard.
"Congress gave the Department the authority to define what type of duties qualify [for the overtime exemption] — it did not give the Department the authority to supplant the duties test and establish a salary test that causes bona fide EAP’s to suddenly lose their exemption ‘irrespective of their job duties and responsibilities.’"
The court did not address whether a smaller increase in the current minimum salary might have been permissible or whether a lower minimum salary threshold could be subject to automatic increases.
The injunction did not affect the applicability of existing requirements under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.