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Sept. 25 – AG Sam Olens joins coalition of states challenging new U.S. Department of Labor Overtime Rule

Coastal Empire News Staff Report

September 25, 2016 - Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens has joined a coalition of 21 states challenging the United States Department of Labor’s new overtime rule in federal court. If implemented, the new rule will more than double the minimum salary overtime threshold for public and private workers without Congressional authorization.

The rule will force many state and local governments to substantially increase their employment costs. Some governments may be forced to eliminate some services and even lay off employees. The complaint urges the court to prevent the implementation of the new rule before it takes effect, which is scheduled for December 1, 2016.

"The United States Department of Labor’s new overtime rule is yet another example of the President’s unconstitutional overreach,” said Olens. “Our nation’s laws, the separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches must be followed.”

On March 13, 2014, without Congressional authorization, President Obama ordered the Department of Labor to revise the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime exemption for executive, administrative, and professional employees—the so-called “white collar” exemption—to account for the federal minimum wage. On May 23, 2016, the Department of Labor issued the final new overtime rule. It doubles the salary-level threshold for employees to be exempt from overtime, regardless of whether they perform executive, administrative, or professional duties.

After December 1, 2016, all employees are entitled to overtime if they earn less than $913 a week—including state and local government employees. Additionally, the new rule contains a ratcheting mechanism to automatically increase the salary-level every three years without going through the standard rule-making process required by federal law. 

States that joined the lawsuit include Georgia, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin.   

 

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