Labor Dept. seeking public input as it eyes controversial overtime rule

Labor Dept. seeking public input as it eyes controversial overtime rule

The Labor Department will ask for public input as it seeks to revise a controversial overtime rule that was finalized under former President Obama.

The agency said a Request for Information (RFI) to be published on Wednesday is an “opportunity for the public to provide information that will aid the department in formulating a proposal to revise these regulations which define and delimit exemptions from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) minimum wage and overtime requirements for certain employees.”

The rule more than doubled the FLSA's annual wage threshold for who can qualify for overtime, from $23,660 to $47,476. It was blocked from taking effect last December by a Texas district court order.

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The Trump administration is defending its right in court to set the salary limits for who qualifies for overtime pay, but it’s decided not to defend the limit set under Obama.

In briefs filed late last month, the administration asked the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold the Department of Labor's legal authority to set a salary threshold, but not to rule on the validity of the specific salary threshold created by the Obama-era rule.

While worker rights advocates claim the increase is long overdue, businesses have argued it was too much too fast.

At a House budget hearing last month, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta said he thinks “the way that it was done created a shock to the system.”

The agency’s RFI, which will be published in the Federal Register, asks for public feedback on the salary level, the duties that determine who qualifies for overtime pay, varying costs of living across the U.S., and whether to include non-discretionary bonuses and incentive payments in the salary level.

The public will have 60 days to comment.