The Higher Ed Workplace Blog

Update on CUPA-HR Comments and Activities on DOL’s Overtime Proposal

Dol_sealUpdate 9/4/15: Today CUPA-HR filed extensive comments in response to the proposed changes to FLSA overtime pay requirements.

On July 6, the Department of Labor (DOL) published its proposed changes to the regulations governing overtime pay requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) with a 60-day comment period ending on September 4. In mid-July, we asked you to complete a survey to help us more fully understand the impact of the proposal so that we could draft detailed comments to provide to DOL. We also sent you an action alert inviting you to echo our request for a comment period extension from DOL through the grassroots web portal of the Partnership to Protect Workplace Opportunity (PPWO) coalition.

Thank you! You responded to our survey with over 800 incredibly helpful, detailed responses on the impact of the overtime proposal. Higher ed HR professionals also sent many of the more than 600 requests for an extension through PPWO’s grassroots tool. Your feedback and participation has been invaluable. We’ve never heard from members and other higher education associations this much on any other issue!

DOL did NOT extend the comment period. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts and an extraordinary number of requests from the public, DOL did not grant an extension of the comment period. Therefore, we will be filing our comments this Friday, September 4.

What will CUPA-HR’s comments include? In our comments, we plan to ask DOL to lower the proposed salary threshold and to abandon the proposed automatic annual updates in favor of a 5-9 year reconsideration of the threshold made through notice and comment rulemaking that complies with the Administrative Procedure Act. We will request that DOL provide the public with notice of the new level at least one year prior to implementation and will argue for a phase-in of the new salary level. The comments will particularly stress the specific impact on higher education based on data we collected from the survey, including identifying the occupations most impacted. Finally, we will ask that DOL not make changes to the duties test without issuing a separate NPRM offering specific proposed regulatory language.

We are currently finalizing the comments based on feedback we are receiving from other higher ed associations and our public policy committee. We have invited higher ed associations to join our comments and will be submitting them on behalf of much of the higher ed community on Friday, September 4.

Our work in partnership with other organizations. For additional information on what CUPA-HR is doing beyond filing comments, please see the PPWO website. CUPA-HR is co-chair of the coalition, along with the Society for Human Resource Management. We encourage you to look at the site’s facts page and news page. Through our work with the coalition, we have delivered 600+ requests for an extension of the comment period via the website’s grassroots tool, as well as 1,636 letters to the Hill urging members of Congress to contact the DOL and request an extension (several have done so).

Thank you Josh! Josh Ulman, CUPA-HR’s chief government relations officer, has tirelessly been spearheading this effort for much of higher ed, and has also personally been in regular contact with the SBA, the Senate HELP Committee and the House Education and Workforce Committee members, who were asking DOL about a possible extension every few days. The PPWO coalition has also been meeting with Hill offices to educate them on the impact of the proposal.

Again, we greatly appreciate your support and help in providing in-depth comments and response to the DOL’s overtime proposal. We will send an alert with our final comments and post them to our advocacy page as soon as they are filed.