Injunction Issued on Department of Labor Overtime Rule
On Nov. 22, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas issued a nationwide injunction prohibiting the Department of Labor’s (DOL) controversial overtime rule from going into effect as scheduled on Dec. 1, 2016. (See Ruling HERE) The rule would have doubled the salary threshold (to $47,476) under which non-exempted workers are guaranteed time-and-a-half pay if they work more than 40 hours in a given week. The rule would have also indexed the threshold to inflation, every three years starting in 2020.
While there is relief in knowing the regulation will not be in effect on Dec. 1, DOL will likely appeal the decision. If DOL prevails on appeal and the rule goes into effect, employers may face legal challenges by employees seeking past due overtime pay. Therefore, employers are encouraged to speak with their legal counsel to determine whether to implement their existing plans to comply with DOL’s overtime rule despite this injunctive ruling or whether to wait for a final outcome by the courts. Given the shift in administration and the expressed interest in repealing the rule, it is possible that the scheduled threshold salary increases may never occur.
This injunction was the result of petitions brought by 21 state attorney generals and a business coalition that argued that the salary threshold was too high and that DOL exceeded its statutory authority by automatically indexing the threshold to inflation. In issuing the injunction, striking down the rule and the automatic updating mechanism, the court held DOL exceeded its delegated authority with its interpretation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and was not entitled to deference, as the statute was not ambiguous. By implementing a minimum salary requirement for employees and supplanting the existing employees’ duties test, DOL’s rule directly conflicts with the intent of the FLSA and Congress. According to the decision, the overtime rule would have resulted in approximately 4.2 million workers becoming eligible for overtime pay without a change to their duties that might qualify them for an exemption.
News in the Helen Grybosky
“Make Fair Housing Fair” Case
A judge in Ashtabula County, Ohio has ruled in the Helen Grybosky case, a lawsuit filed to try to eliminate unfair “damages” in cases where landlords are ‘tested’ by people not actually seeking housing.
The ruling was mixed as you can see from the court document.(see the full ruling HERE). Ms. Grybosky has appealed to the Ohio Appeals Court. Get an explanation of the issues of the case and how the affect all landlords HERE.
OREIA continues to support Ms. Grybosky with contributions to her legal defense, having raised over $5,000 at the 2016 annual Summit. We’ll keep you apprised of the case as it proceeds.
Legislation Matters: Sexual Orientation
May Become a Protected Class in Ohio
If a proposed house bill passes, sexual orientation may join military status and ancestry as a protected class in Ohio. Read all about it here.
FINALLY, Seller Financing Could Get Easier...
Since 2014, OREIA has been working with the Seller Finance Coalition to support an amendment to the Dodd-Frank Act that would make it easier for Ohioans to legally offer seller financing to home owners. That bill has finally been introduced, BUT WE NEED YOUR HELP TO GET IT PASSED. Read all about it here.
"Point of Sale" Inspections are
Unconstitutional in Ohio
OREIA continues to work on behalf of the rights of all Ohio property owners, and today is proud to announce a major step toward ending unconstitutional inspections for all Ohioans.
1851 Center for Constitutional Law, in partnership with OREIA, moved in Federal Court to enjoin Ohio cities from enforcing "pre-sale" and "point of sale" inspections. Read all about it here: https://oreia.com/Page.aspx?ID=Legislative-Updates.
Support OREIA's ongoing legislative, legal, and educational activities by joining HERE
Ohio continues to push fair housing changes, nuisance property bills, and now, smoke detector bills. Read all about them HERE.
Watch the Webinar About
the Federal Court Decisions
Regarding Mandatory Inspections
(and what our next step are)
Here's the link you've been waiting for:
Federal Court Agrees:
Mandatory Rental Inspections
In a precedent-setting win for personal freedom and for landlords, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio has found mandatory rental inspections unconstitutional under the 4th amendment.
In Baker v. the City of Portsmouth, the court ruled that:
"the Court finds that the Portsmouth [Ohio Rental Dwelling Code] violates the Fourth Amendment insofar as it authorizes warrantless administrative inspections. It is undisputed that the RDC affords no warrant procedure or other mechanism for precompliance review. As in the above cases, the owners and/or tenants of rental properties in Portsmouth are thus faced with the choice of consenting to the warrantless inspection or facing criminal charges, a result the Supreme Court has expressly disavowed under the Fourth Amendment"
The 1851 Center for Constitutional Law (www.OhioConstitution.org, an OREIA-supported public interest law firm), filed the case on behalf of several Portsmouth landlords who claimed that their constitutional rights, and those of their tenants, were being violated by "mandatory rental inspections" forced upon owners and occupants of rentals by the city.
The court also ruled that the City of Portsmouth is not entitled to sovereign immunity against restitution in this case--in other words, that landlords who paid the fees for these unconstitutional inspections are entitled to seek, and get, refunds for what they paid.
This decision is an extraordinary win for Ohio landlords, and, OREIA hopes, the beginning of the end of intrusive, unjust, and unconstitutional rental inspections throughout United States.
Read the entire ruling here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/283272619/035-Order-on-MSJ#scribd
OREIA will keep members and member associations informed as more information about this case become available.
New "Meth Lab Remediation Bill"
is Unfair, Could Cost You BIG
Senate Bill 113, the "Meth Lab Remediation Bill", puts the cost of remediating meth labs squarely on the backs of landlords--who are VICTIMS, not PERPETRATORS. Click HERE to find out how to stop this bill--5 minutes of your time could stop this costly and unfair legislation!
Update on the "Helen Gryboski
Fairness in Fair Housing Act"
The 2015 Ohio Legislature is in full swing now, and with it, The Helen Grybosky Fairness and Fair Housing Act is back on the table as Senate Bill 134.
OREIA members from across the state join Sen. Seitz in supporting legislation that maintains prosecution of legitimate discrimination claims but also protects property owners from paying outrageous fines and expensive attorney fees in cases that are blatantly unfair.
No American should be denied housing because of his or her membership in a protected class. At the same time, the fair housing system must be fair to all, including those who expend enormous amounts of time, energy, and money providing the housing. Under current Ohio law, the system is unfair. That’s why OREIA supports SB 134; it is a law that brings some sanity back to Ohio’s fair housing system.
You can read a summary of the bill and track changes here: https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-summary?id=GA131-SB-134
Opponents of this bill, which brings Ohio law closer to Federal fair housing law and removes some of the incentives for Fair Housing Organizations to "bounty hunt", have flooded the press with incorrect propaganda about what the law actually does. To join other Ohio Housing Providers in support of SB 134, get a free account by registering on this site, and we'll let you know who to contact in support and when.
In late October, Dan Acton, a member of Butler County Investment Property Owner's Association (IPOA) and experienced real estate investor, was hired on as OREIA's new legislative director. Dan continues to work with OREIA's lobbyist, Governmental Policy Group, and to set and work on legislative goals for OREIA and its local associations.
The 2015 plan for OREIA's legislative activities includes: (continue reading here: //oreia.com/Page.aspx?ID=Legislative-Updates)
OREIA & Seller Finance Coalition SFC Unite To Change Dodd-Frank Eddie Speed Vena Jones-Cox Matt Keelen from Vena Jones-Cox on