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DOL to Issue Request for Information on the Overtime Rule

On June 7, Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta noted during a House Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the Trump administration’s proposed Department of Labor (DOL) budget that the agency is planning to issue a request for information (RFI) on the currently enjoined Obama administration’s overtime rule. While Acosta did not indicate the exact timing of the RFI, he did say that the agency will publish the request “in the next two to three weeks.”

RFIs are a first step in the regulatory process, and Acosta’s comments suggest DOL is reconsidering the last administration’s approach to updating the overtime regulations. As the DOL’s Glossary of Rulemaking Terms states, “An RFI is one among many possible tools used by an agency to help it develop a proposed rule. Use of an RFI is entirely optional. Agencies generally use RFIs when they want public input on whether a new rule or changes to an existing rule are needed and on what course the agency should take should it decide to move forward.”

During his confirmation hearing in March, and again on June 7, Secretary Acosta acknowledged “the extreme economic impact that a doubling has in certain parts of the economy” while also stating that “it’s unfortunate that rules involving dollar values can go more than a decade without adjusting, [as] life does get more expensive.” Based on these comments, we expect that the secretary will solicit in the RFI input from affected stakeholders, employers and employees alike, on the economic impact of the Obama administration’s rule and how best to move forward with an update to the 2004 rule.

CUPA-HR spearheaded efforts to educate policy makers about higher education’s concerns with the Obama administration’s rule and is planning to take a similar role with the RFI. As it will be imperative for colleges and universities to be heard during this process, CUPA-HR will closely monitor the situation and keep members apprised of additional information on the RFI as it is made available.

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