On September 28, the House of Representatives passed the Regulatory Relief for Small Businesses, Schools, and Nonprofits Act (H.R. 6094), which would require a six-month delay in the effective date of the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Overtime Rule. The House vote, largely along Party lines, was 246 to 177.
Five Democrats, Reps. Brad Ashford (NE), Henry Cuellar (TX), Dan Lipinski (IL), Collin Peterson (MN) and Kyrsten Sinema (AZ), joined Republicans in support of the bill delaying implementation of the Overtime Rule. Congressman Kurt Schrader (D-OR), a proponent of changes to the rule, voted against H.R. 6094.
In addition, identical legislation (S. 3462) was introduced last week by Republican Sens. James Lankford (OK), Lamar Alexander (TN), Susan Collins (ME), Jeff Flake (AZ), and Tim Scott (SC). James Lankford (OK). The Obama Administration has issued a Statement of Administration Policy threatening to veto the legislation.
NLBMDA thanks its members for continued outreach to congressional offices on the Overtime Rule. House approval of H.R. 6094 is a significant step in making needed reforms to the rule. The latest developments to address the Overtime Rule occur as Congress has left Washington, D.C. to campaign, but will return after Election Day to finish up its business for the year.
On September 20, more than 50 business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Retail Federation, and National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), filed suit in federal court to block changes to the Department of Labor's (DOL) Overtime Rule. The coalition filed its case in United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas. A separate coalition of 21 states has also filed a lawsuit challenging the rule. The complaint filed by business groups can be found here.
Both lawsuits state DOL abused its authority by increasing the salary threshold so drastically, and also failed to account for regional variations in the cost of living. The agency also violated federal law by indexing the salary threshold to the 40th percentile of income, with automatic increases every three years, the lawsuits claim.
Congress will have several weeks after Election Day to reform the Overtime Rule ahead of the implementation deadline. It is possible that a federal District Court could issue a temporary injunction delaying the rule while arguments are heard in the case. Despite the latest developments, at present, the Overtime Rule changes are still set to take effect in December.