On September 25, 2017, the National Association of Counties (NACo) submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) in response to their Request for Information (RFI) regarding minimum wage regulations and exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Specifically, those regulations governing the “white collar” exemption from overtime pay for executive, administrative and professional employees.
In May 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (under the Obama Administration) released a final rule that would have changed the salary threshold for employees who are eligible for overtime pay from $23,660 to $47,476. This salary threshold would also would have been updated automatically every three years.
However, twenty-one states and dozens of businesses sued DOL to halt implementation of the rule; they argued that it would substantially increase employment costs. In November 2016, federal judge Amos Mazzant issued a temporary injunction to block implementation of the rule that was scheduled to become effective December 1, 2016.
The Trump Administration has decided not to defend the overtime pay lawsuit and instead is soliciting feedback on the regulations, which they plan to take into consideration as they develop a new proposal. In the meantime, on August 31, federal judge Mazzant, invalidated the DOL 2016 final overtime pay rule.
In response to DOL’s request for comments, NACo expressed concerns regarding DOL’s 2016 rule and the administrative and financial burden it would impose on county governments, which employ more than 3.6 million people and provide services to over 305 million county residents. Additionally, the rule did not adequately address variations in local labor markets across the country, particularly for rural counties. Finally, the comments reflect concerns regarding automatic adjustments or increases in the overtime pay threshold, due to the uncertainty and potential negative impact on county budgets.
In 2015, NACo submitted comments to DOL expressing concerns over the increased administrative and financial burden the rule would impose on the nation’s counties. In June 2016, Mineral County, Nev. Commission Chair Jerrie Tipton testified on behalf of NACo before the House Committee on Small Business on DOL’s overtime rule. Additionally, NACo released a comprehensive “Analysis of the Impact of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Overtime Rule on Counties.”
NACo will continue to monitor the latest developments regarding the Labor Department’s formulation of a new overtime pay regulation for “white collar” employees.
Click here to read NACo’s comments to DOL on the Request for Information on Overtime Pay
Click here to read NACo’s Analysis of the Impact of the DOL Overtime rule on Counties
Click here to read NACo’s comments to DOL on the Proposed Overtime Rule
Click here to read the County News article on Commissioner Jerrie Tipton’s testimony before the U.S. House Small Business Committee