DOL Actions Provide Insight Under Labor Secretary Acosta

In his first step in reworking the “white-collar” overtime rule, Labor Secretary Acosta on June 7 indicated the agency would soon issue a Request for Information (RFI) regarding the currently enjoined overtime rules. The new overtime rule would have re-defined which employees are exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s minimum wage and overtime requirements. Last year, a federal court temporarily enjoined the rule which would have more than doubled the minimum salary level for exempt employees from $455 per week ($23,660 annually) to $913 per week ($47,476 annually).

The RFI procedure will allow the DOL to ask for input on the overtime rule – and will likely pursue comments on the anticipated economic impact of the department’s increase to the minimum salary level required for exemption as well as impacts to non-profit organization and small businesses.

On June 7, Secretary Acosta also announced the withdrawal of the 2015 and 2016 Administrator Interpretations (AIs) on joint employment and independent contractors.  The withdrawal merely removes the DOL’s position on those statements made in the AIs – it does not change the law.

Furthermore, on June 14, 2017 the Federal Register published the DOL’s Office of Labor Management Standards proposal to rescind regulations that would have required employers to file public reports with the DOL when they use a consultant to provide labor relations advice and services which have the purpose of persuading employees regarding union organizing or collective bargaining.  The consultants would have been required to file reports containing the amount of payment received and details regarding the services provided. The OLMS had indicated it wants to have an opportunity to give more consideration to several important effects of the Rule on the regulated partied. Comments on this proposal are due by August 11, 2017.

These recent actions by the DOL provide insight into a new direction to be expected under Secretary Acosta.  For employers proactively seeking to ensure compliance with new rules at both the federal and state levels, ComplianceHR solutions are continually updated as new direction is implemented – stay tuned as we keep you apprised of changes impacting your compliance imperative.

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