Nevada Attorney General Adam P. Laxalt Files Response Brief in Department of Labor’s Overtime Rule Appeal

January 17, 2017

Carson City, NV -- Today, Nevada Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt filed a brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in response to the Department of Labor’s appeal of a federal district court’s order preliminarily enjoining the Department’s new overtime rule. On behalf of a coalition of 21 states, the brief asserts that the U.S. District Court correctly enjoined the federal agency’s new overtime rule, preventing it from going into effect on December 1, 2017. The District Court concluded that the agency had exceeded its statutory authority under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

    “The Department of Labor’s new overtime rule is another blatant example of an unrestrained federal agency under this executive administration attempting to substitute its judgment for the law actually passed by Congress,” said Laxalt. “Federal law clearly requires an overtime exemption for ‘any bona fide executive, administrative and professional’ employee, and the rule will seriously impact not only the budgets and priorities of the sovereign States, but also millions of small businesses across the nation.  I am hopeful and expectant that any court to review this law will reach the same conclusion, and I am proud to be leading the fight against this especially intrusive, unlawful federal overreach.”

      On March 13, 2014, President Obama issued a directive to the Department of Labor ordering the revision of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime exemption for executive, administrative and professional employees—the so-called “white collar” exemption. On May 23, 2016, the Department of Labor issued the final new overtime rule. It doubles the minimum salary that must be satisfied before an employee is exempt from overtime, regardless of whether 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 mechanism to automatically increase the salary-level every three years without going through the standard rule-making process required by federal law. On November 22, 2016, after hearing a legal challenge by a coalition of 21 states led by AG Laxalt, federal district Judge Amos Mazzant preliminarily enjoined the Department of Labor’s new overtime rule originally scheduled to take effect on December 1, 2016.

        In addition to Nevada, the coalition of 21 states includes: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin.

          Attorney General Adam Laxalt, Lawrence VanDyke, Nevada’s Solicitor General and Jordan Smith, Assistant Solicitor General represent the coalition of 21 states.

            The filed brief is attached.