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Department of Labor Overtime Laws Are in Flux – And It May Get Much Worse!

Recently, a former Department of Labor (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) Administrator expressed concern for the new overtime rule that is working its way through the system. As we previously reported, in 2017 the Obama-era overtime rules were struck down by a court as invalid, leaving the Trump administration to make a determination about updating the rule. Former WHD Administrator Tammy McCutchen recently noted that the DOL’s planned timeline for finalizing the rule is “very squished,” with a target effective date in the first quarter of 2020, just months before a presidential election that could undermine the proposal if it’s delayed.

At a recent Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Employment Law and Legislative Conference, McCutchen noted, “I am concerned that the political expediencies will have them giving us like 60 or 90 days to comply.” If that happens, and especially if Trump loses his reelection bid, McCutchen said, it could throw the future of the overtime rule into limbo, pushing the “reset” button on the process.

McCutchen outlined her “worst case” scenario at the SHRM event:

  1. President Donald Trump loses re-election in the fall of 2020.
  2. The new rule is not yet final or effective before inauguration, with new, Democratic leadership taking office at DOL.
  3. The new administration moves to restart litigation in the 5th Circuit and defend the 2016 final rule.
  4. The 5th Circuit reverses the lower court’s injunction.
  5. It’s back to the Obama administration’s proposed rule, without the need for any rulemaking on the part of the new administration. “In fact, it would be effective very fast,” McCutchen said, “perhaps within 30 to 60 days of the court issuing of its mandate.”

MarathonHR will be watching this issue closely and will update you as events unfold. In the meantime, you can read an article about the situation, here: https://bit.ly/2UJrone

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