Three Things That Happened While you were in a Turkey Fog….
Mortgage Consummation Bill Set To Become Law
A bill clarifying that a mortgage is consummated at closing in New York State is on the verge of becoming law. The legislation, (S.7183/Savino A.9746/Richardson) was sent to the Governor on November 16. The Governor has 10 days excluding Sundays to veto a bill after it has been sent to him or it automatically becomes a law. (N.Y. Const. art. IV, § 7). This means that we should know by tomorrow morning at the latest whether or not the bill has been approved by the Governor. He is expected to approve it.
Overtime Regs Blocked
Black Friday came early for employers. In case you missed it, on Tuesday a Federal District Court in Texas blocked the Department of Labor from implementing regulations that would have increased the number of employees eligible for overtime effective December 1, 2016.
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, non-exempt employees who work more than forty hours a week must receive overtime pay. Regulations set to take effect on December 1, 2016 would have doubled the salary threshold from $455 per week ($23,660 annually) to 921 per week ($47,892 annually). This meant that if your branch manager made less than that amount starting December 1 she would be entitled to overtime.
It also stipulated that the salary threshold would be automatically adjusted every three years to equal the minimum salary level based on the 40th percentile of weekly earnings of full-time salaried workers in the lowest wage region of the country.
The lawsuit brought by a group of states challenged the authority of the US DOL to automatically index the exemption threshold. Not only did a Federal District judge agree with this argument but he imposed a nationwide injunction against its imposition.
He explained that “The State Plaintiffs have established a prima facie case that the Department’s salary level under the Final Rule and the automatic updating mechanism are without statutory authority. The Court concludes that the governing statute for the EAP exemption, 29 U.S.C. § 213(a) (1), is plain and unambiguous and no deference is owed to the Department regarding its interpretation.” Nevada v. United States Dep’t of Labor, No. 4:16-CV-00731, 2016 WL 6879615, (E.D. Tex. Nov. 22, 2016)
Does this mean all that work you did reclassifying your employees was for nothing? Not at all. For one thing, the injunction could be reversed. In addition, the pending regulation provided credit unions the opportunity to examine how their employees should be classified. Finally, as explained by this Bond, Schoeneck & King blog, New York is promulgating state level regulations which will increase the exempt employee threshold.
This is yet another example of the increasing tension between an Executive branch aggressively using its regulatory powers and a Judiciary increasingly unwilling to defer to agency judgements. For those of us who believe that federal agencies have been given too much flexibility over the years to interpret laws as they see fit and not as Congress intended, this is a good thing.
Chris Christie Named Secretary of Transportation
Explaining that no one understands the importance of transportation to a political career better than he does, President- Elect Trump recently named N.J. Governor Chris Christie as his Secretary of Transportation. Trump also announced that Howard Stern will be his Communications Director.
Just joking, I wanted to make sure you were still awake.