DOL rescinds joint-employment, independent contractor guidance

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has withdrawn two major Obama-era guidance documents, one addressing joint employment and one dealing with independent contractors.

The move, while not a surprise, is good news for employers, according to H. Juanita Beecher, an attorney with Fortney & Scott and editor of Federal Employment Law Insider. The Obama administration tried to find a way to deal with shifting employer-employee relationships, she said. The effort included a focus on outsourcing and the use of staffing companies as well as a big push to examine whether independent contractors were actually employees. By rescinding the guidance documents, the DOL is backing off its “aggressive” initiative, Beecher said.

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Signaling end of overtime rule, DOL will seek public input on new regs

On June 7, Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta said he will soon formally request the public’s input on new overtime regulations. The announcement signals that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) likely will drop its defense of former President Barack Obama’s overtime rule, according to one expert.

A request for information (RFI) likely will be filed with the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in the next two to three weeks, Acosta told lawmakers during a budget hearing of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Appropriations.

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House passes comp time bill; White House voices support

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill that would allow private employers to offer workers compensatory time off in lieu of overtime pay.

The Working Families Flexibility Act of 2017 will now go to the Senate. However, despite having the White House’s support, the bill could face obstacles.

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Puzder hearing set for January, Dems defend overtime rules

December 28, 2016 - by: Kate McGovern Tornone 0 COMMENTS

The Senate has scheduled a January confirmation hearing for President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for secretary of labor.

Trump’s nomination of Andy Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants, was the death knell for the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) new Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime regulations, according to John Husband, a partner at Holland & Hart in Denver and an editor of Colorado Employment Law Letter.

It already was expected that the Trump DOL would withdraw the department’s appeal of an injunction blocking the rules, but Puzder’s nomination solidified that prediction, Husband previously said.

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Court expedites appeal of overtime rule injunction

December 09, 2016 - by: Kate McGovern Tornone 0 COMMENTS

A federal appeals court will review the temporary injunction blocking new overtime regulations on an expedited schedule that wraps things up even faster than the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) had requested. But it still won’t reach a decision until after President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration, and that could mean the end of the overtime rule, according to some experts.

The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals granted the DOL’s motion for expedited review December 8. The court scheduled most briefing deadlines as the DOL had requested, but it slated final briefs for January 31 rather than the proposed February 7.

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Movement on overtime rules unlikely before Trump takes office

December 06, 2016 - by: Kate McGovern Tornone 0 COMMENTS

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has requested that an appeals court fast-track its appeal of an injunction blocking the new overtime regulations. But even if the court agrees to the DOL’s proposed expedited schedule, it wouldn’t take action on the injunction until at least February, weeks after President-elect Donald Trump takes office.

The department filed an appeal with the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on December 1. It argued that a federal district court judge’s injunction halting the rules “rests on an error of law and should be reversed.” The judge called into question the DOL’s authority to establish a salary basis test for overtime eligibility under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). In its appeal, the DOL argues that the 5th Circuit has already sanctioned the test in previous opinions.

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DOL appeals overtime rule injunction

December 02, 2016 - by: Kate McGovern Tornone 0 COMMENTS

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced on December 1 that it will appeal a court’s injunction temporarily halting its new overtime regulations.

A federal judge for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas blocked the rules on November 22, calling the regulations “unlawful” and noting that the changes in the rules should be left to Congress.

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‘Unlawful’ overtime rule temporarily blocked

November 23, 2016 - by: Kate McGovern Tornone 0 COMMENTS

A federal district court temporarily blocked the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) new overtime rule on November 22, just days before it was scheduled to take effect. The judge who issued the order called the regulation “unlawful” and said such actions should be left to Congress.

At the request of 21 states, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas granted an emergency injunction halting the regulation, which would have required employers to pay overtime to employees earning less than $913 per week ($47,476 annually) beginning December 1.

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Texas federal court fast-tracks suit challenging DOL’s overtime rule

October 20, 2016 - by: Kate McGovern Tornone 0 COMMENTS

Update: A ruling on the November 16 injunction hearing is expected on November 22. We will provide coverage on the ruling once it is issued.

A federal district court has agreed to fast-track a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) new overtime regulation. The court has scheduled oral arguments for November 16, just two weeks ahead of the rule’s December 1 effective date.

The rule will more than double the salary threshold for employees. Employees earning less than $913 per week ($47,476 annually) will have to be classified as nonexempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) overtime requirements, regardless of whether they meet any of the duties tests.

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States, business groups file suits to halt DOL’s overtime regs

September 21, 2016 - by: HR Hero Alerts 0 COMMENTS

by Kate McGovern Tornone

Twenty-one states and several employer interest groups filed lawsuits against the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on September 20 alleging the agency’s new overtime regulations exceed its authority. The suits, however, are not expected to have any success in the near future, and employers would be well served to be in compliance by the December 1, 2016, deadline, according to one expert.

Background

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