As previously reported, the U.S. Department of Labor’s final Overtime Rule is currently enjoined nationwide. The injunction was promptly appealed by the DOL. The Department is now in the middle of the briefing process, with a due date of May 1, 2017. By that time, President Trump Labor Secretary nominee Alex Acosta will certainly be confirmed.
In his March 22, 2017 confirmation hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Acosta discussed his thoughts about the Overtime Rule – questioning the legality of even enacting a new salary threshold and noting that the currently enjoined Rule goes way too far.
Once confirmed, Acosta will first determine whether the DOL will continue its appeal. He also plans to consult with the Department of Justice to determine whether the DOL has the authority to enact a salary increase in the first place. Referencing the current statute’s duties test that determines overtime exemption, Acosta asked, “Does a dollar threshold supersede a duties test, and as a result, is it not in accordance with the law?”
If the Rule were to be revised, Acosta believes the currently proposed $47,476 salary threshold would create a “stress on the system.” Accounting for inflation since the dollar amount was last adjusted in 2004, Acosta stated that he believes the correct salary threshold figure should be “somewhere around $33,000.”
Acosta is highly qualified for the position of Secretary of Labor, having served on the National Labor Relations Board and worked as an Assistant Attorney General and U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida. The Committee is expected to approve Acosta’s nomination next week. His confirmation will then be voted on before the full Senate.