On November 22, 2016, a federal judge in Texas temporarily halted a U.S. Department of Labor rule that extends overtime pay to roughly 4.2 million workers across the country. The rule, which was slated to take effect on , updated the standard salary level requiring certain workers making $47,476 and below to receive overtime pay for working extra hours. In his ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Amos L. Mazzant III said the preliminary injunction preserves the status quo past the deadline while he takes the time to hear the case and determines the validity of the rule, which was finalized in May 2016.
Prior to the recent court ruling, many employers across the country had changed or made plans to change the way they pay workers to meet the rule's requirements. With this new legal development, it is unclear how employers, including landscape architecture firms should proceed. Judge Mazzant's ruling only temporarily halts the Labor Department's rule nationwide, and reversing it could take more than a year. The U.S. Department of Labor has reported that it strongly disagrees with the decision by the court, and is considering all legal options.
Landscape architecture firms should continue to work with human resources professionals and legal counsels to remain compliant with any rules to address overtime pay. Also, the U.S. Department of Labor continues to monitor the recent legal rulings and update the public on its website.
THE TEXAS CHAPTER ASLA IS ACCEPTING FELLOW NOMINATION - DUE DECEMBER 9
Fellowship is among the highest honors the ASLA bestows on members and recognizes the contributions of these individuals to their profession and society at large based on their works, leadership and management, knowledge, and service. Individuals considered for this distinction must be full members of ASLA in good standing for at least ten years and must be recommended to the Council of Fellows by the Executive Committee of their local chapter, the Executive Committee of the ASLA, or the Executive Committee of the Council of Fellows.
Nominees are encouraged to contact and consult with the Texas ASLA Chapter Fellows Committee. The Committee is co-chaired by Earl Broussard, FASLA at firstname.lastname@example.org and Shelia Condon, FASLA at email@example.com. Completed nominations must be submitted to the Texas Chapter President for consideration by December 9, 2016. Email the completed templates to Bobby Eichholz at bobby
Learn more and download nomination templates from the ASLA website.
In May 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor announced a final rule that will automatically extend overtime pay eligibility to certain workers. The rule will entitle most salaried, white-collar workers earning less than $913 a week ($47,476 a year) to overtime pay. The overtime pay final rule goes into effect . Future automatic updates to the salary thresholds will occur every three years, beginning on .
Landscape architecture professionals who meet the new salary requirements of $913 a week, or $47,476 annually, will likely be exempt from overtime pay under the “learned professionals” exemption. However, businesses are encouraged to consult with a human resources professional and/or legal counsel to ensure compliance with the rule.
The Department of Labor has published a Small Entity Compliance Guide to the Fair Labor Standards Act’s White Collar Exemption to assist small businesses, like small landscape architecture firms, understand and comply with the new rule. There is also a DOL website devoted to resources and other guidance on the new overtime rule.
We are pleased to announce the newly elected State and Section Officers. Thank you to these dedicated members who volunteer their time and talent to make the ASLA Texas Chapter great. Congratulations to everyone!
Texas Chapter President – Bobby Eichholz
Texas Chapter President-Elect – Clifton Hall
Immediate Past President- V. Eric Perez
Texas Chapter Secretary –Spencer Freemen
Texas Chapter Treasurer – Tim Bargainer
Texas Chapter Trustee – Tim May
Texas Chapter Vice President Government Affairs - Brent Luck