August 31, 2017
Carson City, NV -- Today, Nevada Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt announced that a U.S. District Court granted summary judgment permanently invalidating the U.S. Department of Labor’s Obama-era overtime rule. The rule was originally scheduled to take effect on December 1, 2016, and was challenged on September 20, 2016 by a 21-state coalition led by AG Laxalt. After briefing and argument from attorneys in the Nevada Attorney General’s Solicitor General’s Office, Federal District Judge Amos Mazzant preliminarily enjoined the rule from being imposed by the federal government in November, 2016. Today’s ruling invalidates the rule permanently.
“I applaud Judge Mazzant’s decision to permanently invalidate this Obama-era overtime rule that would have would have imposed millions of dollars of unfunded liabilities on the States and resulted in a loss of private sector jobs as well as onerous financial and regulatory burdens on small businesses in Nevada and around the country,” said Laxalt. “My office is proud to have led the charge towards a final ruling that brings clarity, certainty and closure to the business community and government alike.”
The Fair Labor Standards Act sets a federal minimum wage and requires overtime pay for employees working over 40 hours per week. The same law requires an overtime exemption for “any bona fide executive, administrative, or professional” employees, leaving the Department of Labor to define the job duties of those categories of employees. On May 23, 2016, in response to President Obama’s directive to revisit its overtime rule, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a new rule that categorically denies an overtime exemption to any employee making less than $47,476 per year, regardless of whether the employee performs executive, administrative, or professional duties. The States, alongside business plaintiffs in parallel litigation, challenged the new rule as inconsistent with the clear requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
In addition to Nevada, other states represented in this challenge include: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin. Four more states – Missouri, Colorado, Montana, and Wyoming – filed a friend of the court brief supporting the challenge to the Obama-Era overtime rule. The current federal administration has announced its intention to revisit the overtime rule through new rulemaking.
The final order is attached.