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Supreme Court Empowers Use of Interpretive Rules

Joe Mont | March 10, 2015

Regulators now have greater freedom to interpret established rules without undergoing a public comment process thanks to a decision handed down by the Supreme Court on Monday. With a 9-0 vote, justices agreed that regulatory clarifications and alterations, made through the use of interpretive rules, are not subject to the public review process required by the Administrative Procedures Act.

The settled case, Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association, involved a Department of Labor rule establishing which employees are entitled to minimum wage pay and entitled to overtime pay. In 2010, the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division issued an “Administrator’s Interpretation” concluding that mortgage-loan officers do not qualify for established wage and overtime exemptions. The Mortgage Bankers Association launched a legal...

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