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Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association

United States Supreme Court
135 S. Ct. 1199 (2015)


The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) granted the Department of Labor authority to determine categories of employees that were exempt from the FLSA’s minimum wage requirements. In 2004, the department promulgated regulations clarifying the exemption. In 2006, the department issued an opinion letter stating that, under its regulations, mortgage-loan officers were exempt from the minimum wage requirements. In 2010, the department reversed its interpretation and found that mortgage-loan officers were not exempt from the requirements. The department issued both the 2006 and 2010 opinion letters without notice-and-comment procedures. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) (plaintiff) represented real estate finance companies that employed mortgage-loan officers. MBA challenged the 2010 interpretation, arguing that the department could not change its interpretation of its regulation without using notice-and-comment procedures under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). The district court granted summary judgment to the department, and the court of appeals reversed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

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Holding and Reasoning (Sotomayor, J.)

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