Following a pair of lawsuits aimed at blocking the Labor Department’s “white collar” overtime rule, House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections Chair Tim Walberg (R-Michigan) introduced legislation which would delay the rule’s effective date by six months, from December 1, 2016, to June 1, 2017. The proposed legislation, entitled The Regulatory Relief for Small Businesses, Schools, and Nonprofits Act (H.R. 6094), currently has 48 cosponsors – 47 Republicans and 1 Democrat. According to the bill’s sponsors, absent congressional action, on December 1, 2016, “drastic changes to federal overtime policies will take effect, resulting in harmful consequences for workers, small businesses, nonprofit organizations, and colleges and universities.”
The legislation does not make any substantive changes to the Final Rule; it only delays its effective date for six months, likely with the hope that a new Congress might pass legislation that would permanently block the rule. But even if this legislation passed, President Obama likely would veto it. Given the short time before the effective date and its unlikely passage during President Obama’s term, employers should prepare for the changes to the exemptions to ensure they are compliant by December 1, 2016.