Labor chief calls for overtime threshold
WASHINGTON — The Labor Department said Friday that it wants salary level to continue to count in deciding who is eligible for overtime pay. But it’s holding off setting the maximum pay a worker can get and still qualify.
That’s according to a brief filed by President Donald Trump’s administration in federal court in New Orleans in a case over whether President Barack Obama’s administration had the right to double the threshold to around $47,000. A federal court last year blocked the Obama administration rule, and Labor Secretary Alex Acosta has suggested the decision may have called into question whether his agency could use a salary level at all.
He told a Senate panel this year that he’d consider raising the maximum salary level from nearly $24,000 to a bit more than $30,000 to keep up with inflation. The idea is that salaried workers making less than the threshold would be eligible for time-and-a-half pay when they work more than 40 hours a week. Obama’s salary level would have made 4 million more Americans eligible for overtime pay.
In Friday’s brief, the Labor Department did not endorse the Obama administration’s salary maximum and is seeking public information on a new threshold.
Instead, the administration asked the court to “address only the threshold legal question of the department’s statutory authority to set a salary level, without addressing the specific salary level set by the 2016 final rule.”