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Senators Braun, Burr, Representatives Foxx, Keller send letter to Labor Secretary Walsh calling for public engagement before new overtime rules

Senator Mike Braun

Today, Senator Mike Braun (Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety), Senator Richard Burr (Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions) and Representative Virginia Foxx (Ranking Member of the House Committee on Education and Labor) and Representative Fred Keller (Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Workforce Protections) sent a letter to Department of Labor Secretary Marty Walsh calling for “robust public engagement” before proposing any new overtime pay requirements, which the Department of Labor has stated it intends to issue in April 2022.

The Members write: “We write to request that the Department of Labor (DOL or Department) conduct robust public engagement prior to any Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on overtime pay requirements. The Administrative Procedure Act recognizes the value of public participation in rulemaking, especially for rules that significantly affect the public. Given the past and present stakeholder interest in regulatory changes to overtime pay requirements, we request DOL conduct a Request for Information (RFI) and hold stakeholder meetings with the regulated community before commencing its process of writing an NPRM. Such steps will help DOL assess if changes are prudent and necessary at this time and gather information to better inform the substance and timing of any proposed changes.”

The letter goes on to question the need for overhauling the current overtime pay regulations, and emphasizes the need for public engagement with the employers and employees who will be affected by the changes before making them: “The current overtime pay regulations were carefully developed with significant public input and at cost to the taxpayer. While DOL has stated its intention to issue an NRPM in April 2022, it is not evident that there is a real or pressing need to overhaul the current framework, which has only been in place for a scant two years. We therefore encourage the agency to engage first and foremost in an RFI process prior to developing new regulations.”