US Dept of Labor to Review Overtime Rule

The U.S. Department of Labor announced Oct. 30 the agency’s plans to review regulations governing overtime eligibility thresholds.

DOL issued a Request for Information in July regarding the Obama administration’s controversial overtime rule—published in May 2016—asking for public input on proposed changes.

That comment period has ended and the DOL is reviewing those submissions.

In August this year, U.S. District Court Judge Amos Mazzant granted summary judgment against the 2016 rule, which would have cost U.S. businesses more than $1 billion in labor costs.

Mazzant said the department overstepped its authority to establish a salary threshold by focusing too heavily on workers’ pay, rather than job duties, to determine overtime eligibility.

That rule increased the salary eligibility threshold for mandatory overtime pay to $47,476 from $23,660—or $913 a week from $455.

In October, the Department of Justice, on behalf of the DOL, filed a notice to appeal Mazzant’s decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Once this appeal is docketed, the Department of Justice will file a motion to hold the appeal in abeyance while the DOL undertakes further rule making to determine the new salary threshold.

U.S. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta has suggested the department may issue a new rule with a more moderate salary threshold increase, possibly in the low $30,000 range.

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