The House late last night passed a bill (H.R. 6094) that would delay implementation of the Department of Labor’s overtime rule until the middle of next year.
The bill passed on a 246-177 mostly party-line vote, though five Democrats did vote in support of the bill. The Senate adjourned last night after passing a stopgap spending bill to avert a government shutdown, meaning there will be no Senate vote on the overtime bill until after the November elections at the earliest.
Before the vote, ASAE urged its members to support the bill, which was introduced by Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI). The final overtime rule, announced by the Department of Labor in May, raises the threshold for employees who are exempt from overtime pay to $47,476 – more than double the current salary threshold of $23,660. ASAE does not oppose an adjustment to the current overtime threshold, but is concerned that the new rule as written would adversely affect many nonprofit organizations and other employers with limited revenues, and could harm many affected employees as well.
“We all agree we need to modernize our nation’s overtime rules, but small businesses, nonprofits, and colleges and universities should not be hurt in the process,” Walberg said. “The department needs to abandon this flawed rule and pursue the balanced approach we’ve been fighting for from the start. Instead, they are forcing those who have to deal with the real-world consequences to make significant changes before an arbitrary December deadline.”
Without congressional action, the overtime rule is set to take effect Dec. 1. With Congress adjourned until Nov. 14 so that lawmakers can continue to campaign for reelection, there will be little time for the Senate to pass corrective legislation before the rule becomes effective.
The White House was sufficiently concerned about the Walberg bill that it issued a veto threat earlier this week.
While continuing to press for a legislative solution to the Administration’s pending overtime rule, ASAE has also joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and numerous other organizations in a lawsuit to block the rule from taking effect on Dec. 1.
The lawsuit, filed last week in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, argues that the Department of Labor exceeded its authority under the Fair Labor Standards Act by drastically altering the minimum salary requirements for exemption and by establishing an automatic salary threshold increase every three years, to take place without notice or public comment.