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Wednesday, 19 October 2016 18:19

UPDATE: House Votes to Delay Federal Overtime Rule

The House of Representatives passed bill H.R. 6094 on Sept. 28 (The Regulatory Relief for Small Businesses, Schools and Nonprofits Act) that would delay the effective date of the Department of Labor’s new overtime rule by six months, from December 1, 2016 to June 1, 2017. 

The vote passed the House 246-177, with five Democrats voting in favor of it.  This is just the latest challenge to the DOL’s doubling of the minimum salary threshold for the white collar exemptions (executive, administrative, and professional) under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Some business groups, congressional Republicans and state officials have criticized the drastic economic impact such a measure would have on businesses. However, there are hurdles for the bill. It must pass the Senate, which will be no easy task.  The bill itself may not even reach the Senate floor for a vote. But even if it does, passage of the bill is not highly likely given the current makeup of the Senate (54 Republicans, 44 Democrats and 2 Independents who caucus with Democrats).  Indeed, we already know that the DOL’s rule in its current form faces some opposition from Democrats given that 15 other Democrats introduced a bill in July that would “phase in” the higher salary threshold over a three-year period.  Even if the bill survives the Senate, a Presidential veto is almost certain to follow.  President Obama released a statement strongly opposing any delay in the rule’s effective date and threatening to veto any such law.  Congress likely would not have enough votes to override any such veto.


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