AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage has joined a coalition of states in filing a federal court complaint challenging the United States Department of Labor's new overtime rule.
"If implemented, this rule would more than double the minimum salary threshold for public and private workers without Congressional authorization," said Governor LePage. "The rule will force many state and local governments to substantially increase their employment costs. Some may be forced to eliminate some services and even lay off employees."
The complaint urges the court to prevent the implementation of the new rule before it takes effect, which is scheduled for December 1, 2016.
The "threshold" for salaried employees is now $47,500 a year. All salaried employees making less than that will now qualify for overtime. Employers will be required to pay time-and-a-half to anyone working more than 40 hours a week. This will significantly increase labor costs for businesses, as well as state and local governments.
On March 13, 2014, President Obama ordered the Department of Labor to revise the Fair Labor Standards Act's overtime exemption for executive, administrative and professional employees-the so-called "white collar" exemption-to account for the federal minimum wage. On May 23, 2016, the Department of Labor issued the final new overtime rule. It doubles the salary-level threshold for employees to be exempt from overtime, regardless of whether if they perform executive, administrative, or professional duties. After December 1, 2016, all employees are entitled to overtime if they earn less than $913 a week-including state and local government employees. 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.
In addition to Nevada, other states that joined this filing include: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin.
"This rule, coupled with referendum questions to dramatically increase the minimum wage and impose a 10.13% income tax on successful Mainers, demonstrates the Democrats at the state and national level are doing everything they can to put people out of work," said Governor LePage.