I blogged about this a short time ago. More than fifty (50) business groups requested that a US District Court Judge render a fast decision in the case involving the constitutionality of the USDOL’s new overtime regulations, i.e. the doubling of the salary threshold. The case is entitled Plano Chamber of Commerce et al. v. Perez and was filed in federal court in the Eastern District of Texas.
The theory is that the DOL exceeded its powers. Also, they argue that the cost of compliance will be massive, forcing many small business owners to cut jobs or close. The groups also want the date pushed back beyond December 1, 2016 so plaintiffs want oral arguments to be held as soon as possible and the rule vacated. The plaintiffs argued that “this conclusion is compelled by the plain text of the statute and is further confirmed by over 70 years of administrative practice and judicial decisions left untouched by Congress.”
The suit was filed in late September, as were other similar cases by two dozen States. These plaintiffs have this week filed a motion for preliminary injunction in their case. The business groups have stated that they want their case adjudicated on the same timeline as the motion by the States.
The business groups have contended that the proposed changes are not merely limited to raising the salary level, but they, really, change the basis for determining whether or not employees are exempt. The groups argue that the new DOL rule does not abide by the requirement that the duties of positions govern the exemption tests.
The motion papers, in this regard, state that “rather, they fundamentally alter the focus of the exemption analysis, shifting the test from one focused primarily on the functions identified by Congress in the FLSA to one that turns almost entirely on a salary threshold that is not a plausible proxy for those statutorily defined job functions. And by automatically adjusting the salary threshold every three years in perpetuity, the rule ensures that this disconnect will only grow greater over time.”
I am fascinated by these initiatives and I cannot wait to see how it plays out. I think the motions are going to fail, because I think the DOL did have the regulatory power to make these changes.
I hope I’m wrong…