Kansas Joins Lawsuit Challenging New Federal Overtime Rule

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The Kansas Attorney General is fighting what he considers regulatory overreach by the Federal Department of Labor.

“Once again, a Federal agency has taken it upon itself to rewrite the law,” said Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt. “We still believe in the basic principle that Congress makes laws, and administrative agencies carry them out.”

In May, in response to an Order from President Obama, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a new overtime rule that revises the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime exemption for executive, administrative, and professional employees—the so-called “white collar” exemption. The new overtime rule doubles the salary-level threshold for executive, administrative, and professional employees to be exempt from overtime.

After December 1, 2016, all employees are entitled to overtime if they earn less than $47,476 annually regardless of whether they perform executive, administrative, or professional duties. Additionally, the new rule contains a ratcheting mechanism to automatically increase the salary-level every three years without going through the standard rule-making process required by federal law.

“The net effect is going to be to significantly expand the universe of persons who are subject to mandatory overtime under Federal law,” said Schmidt. “That expanded universe includes a significant number of State of Kansas employees, as well as many, many private employees.”

Whether or not that is good policy is not the argument here, rather it is the fact that such policy should be set by Congress through legislation and not by the executive branch through the regulatory process. “Particularly, when the net effect is to order a state, the state of Kansas, to pay more money,” Schmidt said.

The new overtime rule will affect about 550 exempt Executive and Judicial Branch employees, roughly 20 percent of all exempt state employees. The complaint urges the court to prevent the implementation of the new rule before it takes effect on December 1, 2016.

In addition to Kansas, other states joining this filing include: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin.

Find the full story here: http://www.wibwnewsnow.com/kansas-joins-lawsuit-challenging-federal-overtime-rule/

 

Source: Nick Gosnell, WIBW