SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 20--EXPRESSING THE SENSE OF CONGRESS THAT THE OVERTIME RULE PUBLISHED IN THE FEDERAL REGISTER BY THE SECRETARY OF LABOR ON MAY 23, 2016, WOULD PROVIDE MILLIONS OF...; Congressional Record Vol. 163, No. 112
(Senate - June 29, 2017)

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[Pages S3865-S3866]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 20--EXPRESSING THE SENSE OF CONGRESS THAT 
THE OVERTIME RULE PUBLISHED IN THE FEDERAL REGISTER BY THE SECRETARY OF 
 LABOR ON MAY 23, 2016, WOULD PROVIDE MILLIONS OF WORKERS WITH GREATER 
ECONOMIC SECURITY AND WAS A LEGALLY VALID EXERCISE OF THE AUTHORITY OF 
        THE SECRETARY UNDER THE FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT OF 1938

  Mr. BROWN (for himself, Mrs. Murray, Mr. Booker, Mr. Casey, Mr. 
Sanders, Mr. Franken, Ms. Warren, Mr. Markey, Mrs. Gillibrand, Mr. 
Blumenthal, Ms. Cantwell, Mrs. Shaheen, Ms. Baldwin, Ms. Hassan, Mr. 
Merkley, Mr. Wyden, and Mr. Menendez) submitted the following 
concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Health, 
Education, Labor, and Pensions:

                            S. Con. Res. 20

       Whereas the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 201 
     et seq.) established overtime compensation requirements for 
     certain employees when they work more than 40 hours in a 
     given workweek;
       Whereas under section 13(a)(1) of the Fair Labor Standards 
     Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 213(a)(1)), Congress delegated to the 
     Secretary of Labor the authority to define and delimit the 
     terms relating to the exemption for bona fide executive, 
     administrative, and professional employees (commonly known as 
     the ``white collar exemption'');
       Whereas for more than 75 years, the Secretary of Labor has 
     exercised its delegated authority to issue regulations that 
     define and delimit the terms relating to the white collar 
     exemption by applying a duties test and applying a minimum 
     compensation level or salary threshold;
       Whereas the Secretary of Labor began utilizing a salary 
     threshold in the initial regulations defining and delimiting 
     the terms relating to the white collar exemption, which were 
     first issued in 1938;
       Whereas Congress has long approved the use of a salary 
     threshold by the Secretary of Labor, as demonstrated by the 
     fact that Congress has amended the Fair Labor Standards Act 
     of 1938 at least 10 times since 1938 and has not precluded 
     the Secretary from using a salary threshold;
       Whereas the salary threshold became woefully out of date 
     and ineffective as a result of not being sufficiently updated 
     to keep pace with a changing economy, as evidenced by the 
     fact that more than half of all full-time salaried workers 
     were covered by the salary threshold in 1975 and only 8 
     percent of these workers were covered by the salary threshold 
     in 2015;
       Whereas the salary threshold of $455 per week, or $23,660 
     per year, that was in effect on May 22, 2016, was below the 
     poverty line for a family of 4;
       Whereas the Secretary of Labor updated the salary threshold 
     on May 23, 2016, through a final rule entitled ``Defining and 
     Delimiting the Exemptions for Executive, Administrative, 
     Professional, Outside Sales and Computer Employees'' (81 Fed. 
     Reg. 32391) by increasing the salary threshold to the 40th 
     percentile of earnings of full-time salaried employees in the 
     lowest-wage Census Region, resulting in a salary threshold of 
     $913 per week or $47,476 per year;
       Whereas the final rule would benefit more than 13,000,000 
     employees by providing overtime compensation protections to 
     4,200,000 new employees and strengthening overtime 
     compensation protections for 8,900,000 additional employees;
       Whereas the Secretary of Labor went through a thorough 
     process in crafting the final rule, seeking public input and 
     conducting extensive economic analysis, including--
       (1) spending more than a year meeting with more than 200 
     interested parties to obtain input before issuing the 
     proposed rule in 2015;
       (2) considering more than 270,000 comments received during 
     the 60-day public comment period on the proposed rule; and
       (3) making significant changes in response to public input 
     before issuing the final rule;
       Whereas the public comments submitted to the Secretary of 
     Labor regarding the proposed rule were overwhelmingly 
     positive and supportive of the rule;
       Whereas the increase in the salary threshold, included in 
     the final rule, to the 40th percentile of earnings of full-
     time salaried employees in the lowest-wage Census Region, 
     resulting in a threshold of $913 per week or $47,476 per 
     year, was a strong yet measured increase by almost any 
     measure, including as compared to--
       (1) the higher salary threshold of $970 per week or $50,440 
     per year, initially put forward by the Secretary of Labor in 
     the proposed rule;
       (2) the salary threshold of $984 per week or $51,168 per 
     year, which would be necessary to fully account for the 
     erosion to the value of the salary threshold since 1975 due 
     to inflation;
       (3) the salary threshold of $1,122 per week or $58,344 per 
     year, which would be necessary to cover the same share of all 
     salaried workers as were covered in 1975 after accounting for 
     changes in the economy; and
       (4) the salary threshold of $1,327 per week or $69,004 per 
     year, which would be necessary to cover the same percentage 
     of all salaried workers as were covered in 1975;
       Whereas the United States District Court for the Eastern 
     District of Texas erroneously called the authority of the 
     Secretary of Labor under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 
     into question when it issued a preliminary injunction 
     enjoining the Department of

[[Page S3866]]

     Labor from enforcing the final overtime rule; and
       Whereas millions of workers eagerly await a fair day's pay 
     for a hard day's work: Now, therefore, be it
       Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives 
     concurring), That it is the sense of Congress that the final 
     rule issued on May 23, 2016, by the Secretary of Labor 
     entitled ``Defining and Delimiting the Exemptions for 
     Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales and 
     Computer Employees'' (81 Fed. Reg. 32391)--
       (1) would provide more than 13,000,000 workers with greater 
     economic security;
       (2) was created through the legally valid exercise of the 
     congressionally-delegated authority of the Secretary of Labor 
     under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938; and
       (3) should be defended and enforced with due haste.

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