FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 21, 2016) -The Commonwealth of Kentucky, by and through Gov. Matt Bevin, has joined a coalition of 21 states in filing a complaint in federal court challenging the United States Department of Labor’s new overtime rule. If implemented, the new rule will more than double the minimum salary overtime threshold for public and private workers without Congressional authorization.
The rule will force Kentucky and many other state and local governments to substantially increase their employment costs. The complaint urges the court to prevent the implementation of the new rule before it takes effect, which is scheduled for December 1, 2016.
“This new Obama Administration rule is another example of the federal government’s never-ending attempt to encroach upon the rights of individual states. This is a direct violation the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States,” said Gov. Bevin. “The result of this unfunded mandate by the federal government would be to force many private sector employers to lay off workers. This is not acceptable. Once again, the Obama administration is attempting to require compliance with non-legally binding edicts that should instead be decided at the state and local level. We stand united with these 21 other states in saying enough already.”
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 Kentucky, other states that joined this filing include: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin.