Overtime In Limbo
Dec 7, 2016

LEAD STORY

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) filed a motion seeking an expedited briefing schedule on its appeal of the district court injunction of the overtime rule that was scheduled to take effect on December 1.

WAIT... BACK UP

On November 22, 2016, a federal judge in Texas granted an injunction delaying the implementation of a regulation that would have extended overtime eligibility to an estimated 4.2 million workers. Finalized in May, the DOL overtime rule doubled the salary threshold, which would have required employers to start paying time-and-a-half to workers earning salaries of less than $47,476 whenever they work more than 40 hours in a given week.

WHO'S OPPOSED?

Twenty-one states and 50 business groups sued to block the new rule. The suit alleges that the Obama Administration exceeded its executive authority both in the amount by which it raised overtime salary thresholds, and by requiring new increases every three years indexed to inflation. The federal judge agreed and issued a temporary injunction. 

WHAT'S NEXT?

The appeals process could stretch into the first quarter of 2017, and a decision could be challenged up to the Supreme Court. However, the future is uncertain. The incoming Trump administration has already threatened to scrap the rule. We'll keep you posted.

GOING TO SACRAMENTO

SUPERMAJORITY

The new California legislative session began on December 5. There are nine new members in the 40-member Senate and 22 in the 80-member Assembly. Democrats regained a two-thirds supermajority in both houses of the Legislature. This gives them the theoretical power to pass taxes, amend political spending laws, and move constitutional amendments without Republican support.

MARIJUANA

Assemblyman Tom Lackey introduced a bill Monday that would allow law enforcement to use roadside drug testing devices to check for drivers under the influence of marijuana. California voters approvedProposition 64, the ballot initiative that legalizes recreational marijuana. The proposed bill would allow testing the driver's salvia that would quickly inform the officer of a positive result for several classifications of drugs, including marijuana. However, a similar bill last year did not pass amid concerns that field testing devices are not dependable.

MAKING OUR WAY AROUND THE COUNTRY

CALIFORNIA

The Workers' Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) issued a notice of public hearing regarding a proposed addition and amendments to its Rules of Practice and Procedure. The primary purpose of this rulemaking is to implement legislative changes to the filing requirements for lien claims mandated by S.B. 1160. This rulemaking will mandate use of an e-filed declaration form in order to ensure uniform procedures to lien claimants. The public hearing is scheduled for Jan. 4 or members of the public may submit written comments until 5 p.m. that day.

CALIFORNIA (JINX)

The Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC) also posted proposed regulations further revising its Workers' Compensation Information System regulations and Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) Implementation Guides. The proposed revisions would make changes to the First and Subsequent Reports of Injury (FROI/SROI) and the EDI Implementation Guide for Medical Bill Payment Records. Members of the public may submit written comments until 5 p.m. on Dec. 15.

75TH ANNIVERSARY

Today marks the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. As world leaders come together to remember this day, let us each take a moment to remember and never forget.

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