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State of Nevada v. United States Department of Labor

United States District Court, E.D. Texas, Sherman Division

August 31, 2017

STATE OF NEVADA, ET AL.
v.
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, ET AL.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          AMOS L. MAZZANT, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Pending before the Court is the Texas AFL-CIO's (the “AFL-CIO”) Motion to Intervene (Dkt. #67). After reviewing the relevant pleadings, the Court denies the AFL-CIO's motion.

         BACKGROUND

         On March 23, 2014, President Obama issued a memorandum directing the Secretary of Labor to “modernize and streamline the existing overtime regulations for executive, administrative, and professional employees.” Presidential Memorandum of March 13, 2014; Updating and Modernizing Overtime Regulations, 79 Fed. Reg. 18, 737, 18, 737 (Mar. 13, 2014). Although the Department revised regulations in 2004, the President opined, “[R]egulations regarding . . . overtime requirements . . . for executive, administrative, and professional employees . . . have not kept up with our modern economy.” Id. In response to the President's memorandum, the United States Department of Labor (the “Department”) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to revise 29 C.F.R. Part 541. The Department received more than 293, 000 comments on the proposed rule, including comments from businesses and state governments, before publishing the final version of the rule (the “Final Rule”) on May 23, 2016.

         The State of Nevada and twenty other states (collectively, “State Plaintiffs”) filed suit against the Department, the Wage and Hour Division of the Department, and their agents (collectively, “Defendants”) challenging the Final Rule (Dkt. #1). On October 12, 2016, State Plaintiffs moved for emergency preliminary injunctive relief (Dkt. #10).

         The Plano Chamber of Commerce and more than fifty-five Texas and national business groups (collectively, “Business Plaintiffs”) filed a similar action challenging the Final Rule in Plano Chamber of Commerce v. Perez , No. 4:16-CV-732 (E.D. Tex. Sept. 20, 2016). On October 14, 2016, Business Plaintiffs moved for expedited summary judgment (No. 4:16-CV-732, Dkt. #7; No. 4:16-CV-731, Dkt. #35). The Court consolidated Business Plaintiffs' action with the State Plaintiffs' action on the unopposed motion from Business Plaintiffs (No. 4:16-CV-732; Dkt. #11).

         On November 16, 2016, the Court held a preliminary injunction hearing to consider oral argument regarding State Plaintiffs' motion. On November 22, 2016, the Court granted State Plaintiffs' emergency motion for preliminary injunctive relief (Dkt. #60).

         On December 9, 2016, the AFL-CIO filed its motion to intervene (Dkt. #67). On December 15, 2016, Business Plaintiffs filed a response (Dkt. #72). The next day, State Plaintiffs also filed a response (Dkt. #74). On December 22, 2016, the AFL-CIO filed a reply (Dkt. #78). On December 28, 2016, State Plaintiffs filed a sur-reply (Dkt. #79).

         LEGAL STANDARD

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 24 provides for two forms of intervention: (1) intervention of right (mandatory intervention); and (2) permissive intervention. Fed.R.Civ.P. 24.

         A proposed intervenor is entitled to mandatory intervention if the following elements are satisfied:

(1) the application for intervention must be timely; (2) the applicant must have an interest relating to the property or transaction which is the subject of the action; (3) the applicant must be so situated that the disposition of the action may, as a practical matter, impair or impede his ability to protect that interest; (4) the applicant's interest must be inadequately represented by the existing parties to the suit.

Texas v. United States, 805 F.3d 653, 657 (5th Cir. 2015). “Failure to satisfy any one requirement precludes intervention of right.” Haspel & Davis Milling & Planting Co. v. Bd. of Levee Comm'rs of the Orleans Levee Dist., 493 F.3d 570, 578 (5th Cir. 2007).

         If intervention is not mandatory, then it is permissive. A court may permit anyone to intervene whom “has a claim or defense that shares with the main action a common question of law or fact” as long as the intervention does not “unduly delay or prejudice the adjudication of the rights of the original parties.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 24(b); see also Heaton v. Monogram CreditCard Bank of Ga., 297 F.3d 416, 422 (5th Cir. 2002) (“Federal courts should allow intervention where no one would be hurt and the greater justice could be attained.”). This decision to permit intervention is a “wholly discretionary” one, even if there is a common question of law or fact and the requirements of Rule 24(b) are ...


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