WASHINGTON (3/10/15)--The U.S. Supreme Court Monday unanimously ruled Monday that federal agencies can adjust interpretive rules without engaging in the formal rulemaking process.
The case, Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), saw the MBA against the U.S. Department of Labor to determine whether mortgage loan officers must be paid overtime.
CUNA's preliminary analysis of the case holds that this decision could make agencies, such as the National Credit Union Administration and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, more likely to issue more interpretations.
The Supreme Court considered whether a federal agency must engage in the notice-and-comment form of rulemaking before it can alter an interpretive rule. The decision means that interpretations of existing rules will no longer be subject to this process.
In 2006, the Department of Labor issued an opinion letter that said mortgage loan officers' duty qualifies for an exception to the overtime rule in the Fair Labor Standards Act. In 2010, the department's deputy administrator reversed course, saying the officers did not qualify for the exception.
MBA sued the Department of Labor, saying its interpretation could not be changed without a notice-and-comment period required in the Administrative Procedures Act. The U.S. District Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that the 2010 decision must be reversed.