DOL Overtime Rule – The Latest
UPDATE 11/23/16: A federal district judge in Texas issued a preliminary injunction blocking implementation of the Overtime Final Rule, ruling that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) exceeded its authority. Barring a last-minute appeal, the overtime rule will not go into effect as scheduled on December 1 because of this decision.
Implementation for the Overtime Final Rule is less than one month away (December 1) – is your organization prepared? In case you need a primer on the changes, check out this blog post. Remember, the final rule applies to employers in all sectors. There is no nonprofit exemption.
We’ve fielded lots of calls and emails about the final rule and wanted to ensure that you had the resources you need to make these changes. Check out:
- Navigating the Overtime Final Rule: Guidance from the Experts – a FREE (for MANP members) webinar with experts from the Maine Department of Labor and the National Council of Nonprofits.
- 501 Commons Checklist – A helpful checklist that can help your nonprofit’s administrative team start planning for changes to the FLSA laws. (bonus infographic)
- MANP Answer Center – We’ve got a specific section on our website listing some of the free resources we’ve found the most helpful.
- Department of Labor Special Guidance for Nonprofits – Additional clarification from the DOL regarding options and obligations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Ongoing Legal Challenges
Even though efforts are underway to prevent the changes from becoming effective as scheduled, this is highly unlikely. You may have heard that last week the House passed a bill that would delay implementation of the overtime rule by six months (until June 1, 2017). There is a Senate companion bill, but the White House has made clear that the measure would be vetoed if it reached President Obama’s desk. Now that Congress has recessed until after the November 8 elections, blocking the overtime rule through legislative action is not going to happen.
Also, in the news here in Maine was Governor LePage signing on to a lawsuit in federal court in Texas seeking to strike down the overtime rule. The states’ complaint challenges the power of Congress and the Labor Department to set wage standards for non-federal public employees. To prevail, the states must get the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn its own precedent from the 1980s. This lawsuit claims that the DOL regulations are “arbitrary and capricious,” an allegation that carries a heavy burden of proof.
Next year, the new administration could alter the overtime rule, but only after the full regulatory process dictated by the Administrative Procedures Act is exhausted. In the alternative, Congress could seek to revise the underlying Fair Labor Standards Act. We’ll keep you updated.
In One Month
Remember, employers have various options to comply with these change in overtime rules, ranging from increasing exempt employees’ salaries to the new level, converting them to hourly employees and paying overtime, or making other changes to benefits or operations. Every nonprofit will have a unique solution and there is no one-size-fits-all strategy. However, if you follow best practices and have an honest conversation with staff and management you’ll be prepared for December 1 and beyond.
If you’ve still got questions, feel free to email us or call at 207-871-1885.