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Business groups weigh in on overtime debate

Business groups weigh in on overtime debate

Although the Trump administration is widely expected to withdraw the U.S. Department of Labor’s support for its proposed new overtime rule, of the proposed new overtime rule, its opponents nevertheless filed amicus briefs with the appeal court handling the case Tuesday.

Amicus briefs were filed with the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans by 60 business organizations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and by four states.

The briefs support 21 states who oppose the U.S. Department of Labor’s proposed overtime rule, which would have raised the threshold for overtime-exempt employees to $913 a week, or $47,476 annually, for a full-time employee, compared with the current $455 a week, or $23,600 annually.

On Nov. 22, Judge Amos L. Mazzant III of U.S. District Court in Sherman, Texas, issued a preliminary injunction halting the overtime rule’s planned Dec. 1 implementation, and the Labor Department appealed to the 5th Circuit.
In their brief, the business groups say the Department of Labor disregarded the “clear statutory text” of the Fair Labor Standards Act in issuing the regulation.

“Under public pressure for the President to find creative means to expand wage entitlements without going to Congress, DOL finalized a regulation in May 2016 that categorically strips the white-collar exemption from 4.2 million individuals with the stroke of a pen,” says the brief.

“That rule flouts Congress’ unambiguous intent to employ a functional exemption in which job duties are the primary criterion for applying the exemption.”

The second amicus brief, which was filed on behalf of Missouri, Colorado, Montana and Wyoming, says the overtime rule would “exclude millions of employees who are unquestionably employed in a bona fide executive, administrative or professional capacity. As the district court found, this interpretation directly contradicts the plain text of the statute.”


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