The Economic Policy Institute applauds members of Congress for filing an amicus brief in support of the Obama administration’s new overtime rule. The brief, which was filed yesterday, argues that the Department of Labor is exercising the clear authority it has used for almost 80 years, when they implemented the Fair Labor Standards Act in 1938. Signed by over a dozen representatives, the brief argues that Congress has shown its approval for the rule by amending the exemption provision to limit the DOL’s authority with respect to the limits on how much nonexempt work a retail employee can do and still be exempt—but not with respect to a salary test. Moreover, Congress itself used a salary test when it created a new computer professional exemption in 1990. Finally, the level chosen is rational: DOL chose approximately three times the minimum wage, the ratio used in the original regulations in 1938.
“The new overtime rule would positively impact 12.5 million workers,” said EPI Vice President Ross Eisenbrey. “The Department of Labor is acting well within its rights to ensure that workers are provided pay for every hour of their work. If President-elect Trump truly wants to help workers, he should take action to make sure this rule is implemented.”