via The Washington Examiner by Sean Higgins
The Labor Department will make the first step Wednesday to formally roll back one of President Obama's key workplace law legacies, a vast expansion of the number of workers covered by federal overtime rules.
Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta has said the previous administration went too far in expanding the rule and exceeded its authority under the law.
"The department is aware of stakeholder concerns that the standard salary level set in the 2016 final rule was too high. In particular, stakeholders have expressed the concern that the new salary level inappropriately excludes from exemption too many workers," the department said in a request for public comments regarding the rule set to be published Wednesday in the Federal Register. The request is required before the department can officially rescind the rule.
Federal law says employees must be paid time and a half once they work more than 40 hours in a week. However, businesses may exempt workers from the requirement if their duties are "managerial" in nature and they reach a certain salary threshold.
The Labor Department last year adjusted that threshold, previously $23,000 annually, to more than $47,000. The change was opposed by many Republican lawmakers and business groups, who argued that the change exceeded the department's authority. A Texas judge threw out the rule last year and the issue is still in court.
During his Senate confirmation hearing in March, Acosta indicated that he thought the rate should have been increased before last year but that raising it to $47,000 caused a "stress on the system." The question of where the rate should be was a "very difficult decision," he said. The rate was last raised in 2004 by President George W. Bush.
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