Secretary of Labor says revised rules will be issued
This week, President Trump’s Secretary of Labor, Alex Acosta, took formal steps to roll back new overtime rules modifying the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) that had been put into place by former President Obama to expand overtime eligibility for American workers. Under the new rules, all employees earning less than $47,476.00 per year, or $913.00 per week, would be entitled to be paid overtime (time and a half) for any hours worked in excess of forty in a week, regardless of job title or duties. This increased the threshold which previously had been set at $23,660.00 per year, or $455.00 per week, in 2004 by then President George W. Bush.
The new rules had been set to go into effect on December 1, 2016 but were delayed by an injunction issued by a federal judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas as the result of a challenge filed by over fifty business organizations. Last week, Secretary Acosta informed the Court that the Department of Labor would not challenge the Court’s holding and instead issue revised rules. Secretary Acosta previously indicated that he believed the salary threshold should be raised but that the threshold set by President Obama was too high. This week, Acosta’s department issued a Request For Information (“RFI”), triggering a sixty day public comment period, which is the first formal step modifying the changes made by the Obama administration.