The Department of Justice is Over the Overtime Regulations

78-TEG-Staff-2014-CropMindy Rowland, Vice President/C.L.O. | Jul 11, 2017

Remember last November when a Texas federal court enjoined the Department of Labor’s overtime regulations (which would have increased the salary threshold to $47,476)?  The court ruled that the Department of Labor does not have the authorized to set salaries for exempt positions (i.e., executive, professional and administrative employees).  Ever wonder what’s happened to those overtime rules since then?  The short answer is, nothing.

Immediately following the ruling, the Department of Labor appealed the decision to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.  But due to the change in administration, the appellate court granted several extensions to the DOL, resulting in the DOL’s final position brief not being filed with the court until June 30.

In the June 30 brief, the Department of Justice (representing the DOL) abandoned its defense of the actual increase itself.  Instead, the DOJ indicates that it intends to revisit the appropriate salary threshold via a new rule.  However, the DOJ did not completely abandon the case.  It does object to the lower court’s ruling that the DOL does not have authority to set salary level thresholds for exempt employees and will persist in its appeal of that portion of the court’s decision.  Apparently, Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta would like a ruling from the Fifth Circuit that the DOL does, in fact, have authority to set the salary level under the Fair Labor Standards Act.  That is the only portion of the lower court’s ruling that the DOJ is appealing; the DOL is not appealing whether the actual $47,476 figure is the appropriate threshold.   Secretary Acosta indicated during his Senate confirmation hearings that he believes the new salary threshold should be around $33,000.

In its brief, the DOJ says the DOL will not issue a new proposed regulation until the litigation is resolved.  So, sit tight; The Employer Group will keep you apprised with any developments.

* We are thrilled you are looking to our Newsfeed as a source of current HR information - after all, The Employer Group is your Human Resource Resource. One of the best features about our News Feed is that the entries are timely. You get up-to-date information on what’s going on in HR, right now. The downside is that the law doesn’t always stay the same. That means we can’t guarantee you are getting the most up-to-date information when reading through past entries. Please don’t take our News Feed and rely on it as legal advice. As you know, The Employer Group does not provide legal advice. If you’ve got questions about an entry, give us a call. We are more than happy to assist.