Trump Labor Dept. rolls back overtime, joint employer rules

Business and industry groups Wednesday praised two separate moves by the U.S. Labor Department to delay or roll back changes to wage and hour rules made during the Obama administration.

Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta withdrew guidance on the issue of joint employment. In informal guidance, the Obama administration had strongly insisted that companies and staffing companies they hired, or restaurant-holding companies and franchise operators, were equally and jointly responsible for properly paying employees. The department said it will still continue to enforce all wage and hour laws. Business groups said Acosta’s move would help franchise businesses.

Separately, Acosta told Congress that he would publish a request for information on new overtime regulations that were set to go into effect in December. The regulations would have increased the number of people receiving overtime. Business groups sued to stop the new laws from going into effect.

Acosta also defended President Trump’s move to combine the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance, saying combining them would save money and reduce duplication. Both worker and business groups oppose the move.