BIG “I” SUES TO HALT MISGUIDED OVERTIME RULE

Lawsuit seeks reversal of burdensome Department of Labor overtime regulation.

WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 20, 2016—The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) today joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and 12 other national trade associations in filing a lawsuit against the Department of Labor (DOL) to halt its recently promulgated overtime rule. A coalition of 21 states also filed a separate challenge to the rule.

“This misguided overtime rule will negatively impact independent insurance agencies and their employees,” says Bob Rusbuldt Big “I” president and CEO. “The Big ‘I’ believes the lawsuit highlights the burdens this regulation places on many businesses across the country, and the harm it will do to many employees who will lose the flexibility and benefits traditionally associated with exempt employment positions. This rule is a jobs killer and it needs to be fixed.”

The DOL overtime rule, finalized in May, includes raising by 100% (from $23,660 to $47,476) the monetary threshold at which employees can qualify for the so-called “white collar” overtime exemptions. The rule also pegs the threshold to inflation. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, and asks the court to set aside the new rule. The lawsuit is also seeking injunctive relief barring the DOL from implementing the rule until the court has finished reviewing the case. The rule is currently set to go into effect on December 1.

“The lawsuit takes aim at the arbitrary and excessive 100% increase in the monetary threshold required to be exempt from overtime, as well as the mechanism for automatically updating the threshold,” says Charles Symington, Big “I” senior vice president of external and government affairs. “The Big ‘I’ is the only insurance trade association to join the lawsuit. We believe this lawsuit is a necessary step to help protect our members, many of which are small businesses, against unreasonable regulatory overreach by the Department of Labor.”

Founded in 1896, the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) is the nation’s oldest and largest national association of independent insurance agents and brokers, representing a network of approximately a quarter of a million agents, brokers and their employees nationally. Its members are businesses that offer customers a choice of policies from a variety of insurance companies. Independent agents and brokers offer all lines of insurance—property, casualty, life, health, employee benefit plans and retirement products. Web address: www.independentagent.com.

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