WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 23– Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) welcomed news that the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas issued a preliminary injunction blocking the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) burdensome and costly overtime final rule. Prior to the injunction, the rule was scheduled to go into effect on Dec. 1 and would have doubled the current minimum salary threshold for employees that are exempt from overtime pay and automatically increased it every three years.
“Construction contractors are pleased that the court has stepped in to provide relief from another overreaching and burdensome regulation from the Department of Labor,” said ABC Vice President of Legislative and Political Affairs Kristen Swearingen. “By dramatically increasing the minimum salary threshold for exempt employees, the Department of Labor’s overtime rule would have taken workplace flexibility away from employees and may have required some employers to consider switching certain employees from salaried to hourly positions.
“Additionally, the rule would have a significant impact on commercial and industrial construction projects in particular, since they often last longer than three years and are carefully planned to stay on time and under budget,” said Swearingen. “The injunction granted today will protect employers from being forced to speculate which of their employees may be considered non-exempt under a salary threshold that could change in the middle of a multiyear construction project.”
DOL released its final overtime rule on May 18. The final rule drastically alters DOL’s minimum salary requirements (increasing the minimum by 100 percent) and would impose overtime payment requirements on employers of more than 4.2 million employees who are classified as executive, administrative, professional and computer professional employees and have historically been considered to be exempt from overtime.
ABC has been a vocal opponent of the overtime rule and submitted comments along with more than 900 ABC members opposing the rule. ABC supported legislation that would prevent DOL from implementing the rule and that would have delayed its implementation and submitted comments as a member of the Partnership to Protect Workplace Opportunity as well.