Key Issues

CUPA-HR Submits Comments on DOL’s Request for Information on the Overtime Rule

SEPTEMBER 26, 2017 (WASHINGTON INSIDER ALERT) - On September 25, CUPA-HR, joined by 20 other higher education associations, filed substantive comments in response to the Department of Labor (DOL)’s Request for Information (RFI) on the invalidated Obama Administration’s overtime rule.

The RFI invites the public to comment on a multitude of questions, including “whether the standard salary level set in that rule effectively identifies employees who may be exempt, whether a different salary level would more appropriately identify such employees, the basis for setting a different salary level, and why a different salary level would be more appropriate or effective.”

Our comments provide answers to the RFI questions relevant to our collective membership and are informed by data we have collected as part of our 2015 comments, letters to and meetings with the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, institutions’ plans for implementation, our 2017 Congressional testimony and an August 2017 survey by CUPA-HR of 334 chief HR officers at both public and private institutions, which CUPA-HR conducted in response to the RFI.

These comments highlight higher education’s belief that an increase to the salary threshold is due, that DOL has an obligation to update the threshold from time to time to ensure the exemptions are not abused, and outline what we believe to be DOL’s best course of action moving forward. Our recommendations to DOL are as follows:

  • Update the salary threshold by applying the methodology used in 2004 to current salary data;
  • Make no changes to the duties test;
  • Prorate the salary threshold for part-time employees;
  • Allow the cost of employer-provided room and board to count towards the salary threshold; and
  • Do not institute automatic updates and instead continue with DOL’s past practice of updating the regulations as appropriate through notice-and-comment rulemaking.

View the comments.