The U.S. Department of Labor has issued its promised Request for Information on the salary levels in the Obama Administration’s overtime rule. The RFI was published in yesterday’s Federal Register. Comments are being accepted through September 25.
Invoking President Trump’s Executive Order 13777, the RFI focuses on the minimum salary levels that should apply to the administrative, executive, and (some) professional exemptions from the minimum wage and overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The DOL seeks comment in the following broad categories:
- Whether the salary levels in the Obama rule “effectively identif[y] employees who may be exempt,” and
- Whether a different salary level (presumably, lower) would be preferable, the basis for the different level, and why it would be more effective.
The RFI goes into more detail about what it’s looking for, so if you plan to comment, you should read the whole thing – it’s not too long.
The overtime rule was set to take effect December 1, 2016, but was enjoined in November 2016 by a federal court in Texas. The Obama DOL appealed the injunction to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and the Trump DOL recently filed a reply brief, essentially arguing that the lower court was wrong in finding that the DOL did not have authority to set or change salary thresholds. Where that leaves the lower court’s injunction is not at all clear. The Trump DOL reportedly does not plan to begin new rulemaking until it obtains a court decision saying that it has such authority.