Attorney General Frosh Joins Multi-State Coalition to Oppose Federal Rollback of Overtime Protections

News Release, Office of The Maryland Attorney General

BALTIMORE, MD (May 21, 2019) – Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh today joined a coalition of 15 attorneys general in urging the U.S Department of Labor (DOL) not to adopt its proposal to reverse federal overtime protections for workers. It is estimated that under the proposed rule, more than 8 million workers will lose overtime protections.

“Employees and state agencies that enforce our labor laws depend on the Department of Labor to provide meaningful protections to workers,” said Attorney General Frosh. “Reversing this rule without explanation may be a violation of the Administrative Procedure Act, and will leave millions of workers vulnerable to losing overtime protections.”

DOL’s proposed rule would change the white-collar exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which currently exempts from overtime protections for those in executive, administrative, and professional “white-collar” positions. In order for an employer to classify an employee as exempt, the employee must:

  • Be paid a fixed salary (the “salary basis test”);
  • Be paid a minimum specified salary (the “salary level test”); and
  • Have a job with duties that are executive, administrative, or professional in nature (the “duties test”).

In 2016, DOL adopted a rule that raised the minimum salary level set in 2004 from a $455 in weekly earnings to $913 in weekly earnings. This change resulted from a review which concluded that the higher salary level would be an effective way to protect employees against misclassification and would be consistent with DOL’s historical practice. DOL also included an automatic updating provision that would increase the salary level every three years. The Trump Administration’s proposed rule seeks to rescind the 2016 Final Rule by lowering the salary level from $913 to $679 and would eliminate the automatic updating provision.

The comment letter details the state’s concerns that DOL’s weakening of the salary level test will make it harder for the states to enforce labor laws, and it will lead to more FLSA violations by employers who misclassify workers as white-collar employees.

In addition to Maryland, the comment letter was signed by the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Washington and the District of Columbia.

The Southern Maryland Chronicle is a local, small business entrusted to provide factual, unbiased reporting to the Southern Maryland Community. While we look to local businesses for advertising, we hope to keep that cost as low as possible in order to attract even the smallest of local businesses and help them get out to the public. We must also be able to pay employees(part-time and full-time), along with equipment, and website related things. We never want to make the Chronicle a “pay-wall” style news site.

To that end, we are looking to the community to offer donations. Whether it’s a one-time donation or you set up a reoccurring monthly donation. It is all appreciated. All donations at this time will be going to furthering the Chronicle through hiring individuals that have the same goals of providing fair, and unbiased news to the community. For now, donations will be going to a business PayPal account I have set-up for the Southern Maryland Chronicle, KDC Designs. All business transactions currently occur within this PayPal account. If you have any questions regarding this you can email me at davidhiggins@southernmarylandchronicle.com

Thank you for all of your support and I hope to continue bringing Southern Maryland the best news possible for a very long time. — David M. Higgins II




© 2019 The Southern Maryland Chronicle. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.