I have written several blog posts about the DOL Overtime Rule, which would have raised the minimum salary threshold from $23,660 to $47,476. The Rule, which was to become effective December1, set the minimum salary, which an exempt employee would have to be paid at $47,476. In September, I wrote that two lawsuits had been filed in Texas challenging the DOL Rule.
On Tuesday, November 22, the Texas Court issued a nationwide preliminary injunction preventing the Rule from taking effect on December 1. According to Forbes, “a federal judge in Texas has issued a nationwide junction blocking the Department of Labor's rule requiring overtime pay for more than 4 million new workers. In a 20-page decision, U.S. District Judge Amos L. Mazzant ruled that 21 states and more than 50 business groups that sued to block the rule stood a significant chance of success and would suffer serious financial harm if the rule was put into effect as scheduled on Dec. 1.” The court found that “[t]he State Plaintiffs have shown a likelihood of success on the merits because the Final Rule exceeds the Department's authority.”
Based upon the entry of the injunction, the current overtime regulations remain in place. However, the injunction is a preliminary injunction as opposed to a permanent one. Thus, the possibility remains that the judge could rule differently at a later date and that the amended regulations could then become effective. Employers should continue to monitor the situation and remain ready to make changes to pay practices to comply with the amended regulations if they do eventually become effective. However, with the entry of this injunction in conjunction with the outcome of the recent federal elections, there now seems to be a reasonable chance that the amended regulations will not go forward in the next four years.
Wishing all of you a Happy Thanksgiving with family and friends.