Texas Court Issues Injunction Blocking New December 1st Overtime Regulations

November 23, 2016
Think HR

On November 22, 2016, a federal district court in Texas granted a preliminary injunction that temporarily blocks the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) from implementing and enforcing its recently revised regulations on the white collar exemptions to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The regulations, which were released in May and scheduled to go into effect on December 1, would more than double the minimum salary requirement certain executive, administrative, and professional employees must receive in order to be exempt from overtime.

Employers should note that this is only a temporary injunction, not a permanent one. The injunction applies nationwide and simply prevents the regulations from going into effect on December 1. There will be a decision issued at a later date on the actual merits of the case, so changes in the FLSA salary threshold for exemption may be back.

Impact for Employers

For many employers, this is good news for the time being. As a result, employers that have not made the necessary changes to their compensation plans have more time to plan for the changes in the event the regulations are upheld. Employers that have already made changes to their compensation plans will need to determine if they want to continue with the changes, suspend the changes, or roll back those changes pending any legal developments. These decisions should be made in accordance with any applicable state or local laws. Employers should consult their attorneys to determine what course of action is best for them.

For more information visit ThinkHR to monitor developments and keep you informed of any changes.

New FDA regulation threatens future of AZ vaping industry

November 14, 2016
Arizona Business Daily
Chuck Schmidt

As an Arizona resident and small business owner, I am deeply troubled by a threat to one of our growing economies — the vaping industry. If left unchanged, a provision in new rules by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), called the “predicate date,” will force all vapor products produced after 2007 to undergo a costly and time-consuming approval process. Vapor shop owners and convenience stores will have to pay untold sums in the process while waiting months or years for approval — the result of which will inadvertently over-regulate the industry out of existence in Arizona. Businesses could close down, jobs could be lost, taxable Arizona revenue may go out of state and consumers could be denied of the choices they want and deserve. 

While the FDA may have had good intentions, their rule will not improve oversight of the tobacco industry, instead, it will cause an unnecessary prohibition of the very products consumers are increasingly demanding to curb smoking traditional cigarettes.   We cannot allow the predicate date of the rules to remain as-is—it’s bad for business, it’s bad for consumers, and it would reverse constructive progress in public health spurred by the vapor industry.  

Thankfully, Congresswoman Martha McSally can help save Arizona’s vapor industry and, therefore, I am urging her, along with her colleagues, to take action as soon as possible to fix the FDA’s regulation. The Cole-Bishop Amendment is just the solution we need as it will update the predicate date from 2007 to 2016. 

This small but important change will provide vapor businesses a more workable timeframe in complying with the review process for new and developing vapor products, which will keep businesses open, support innovation in the vapor industry, and ensure Arizonians can continue to access less harmful substitutes to traditional tobacco products that many consumers have increasingly come to rely on. 

This issue is important because it is a matter of regulations keeping pace with marketplace advancements and supporting consumer choice. I hope, for the sake of Arizona’s economy and for consumers, Congresswoman McSally supports the Cole-Bishop amendment and urges congressional leaders to include it in any of the remaining spending bills Congress must pass this year.