This time last year, we were proven wrong.
The emergency injunction request filed by employer groups and 21 states in October 2016, seven weeks before the FLSA overtime rule’s implementation date, was seen as a last-ditch effort by desperate players in an OT game. The rule was set to increase the salary threshold to $47,476, more than double the original threshold, and employers were obviously not pleased.
One month later, many presuppositions of politics collapsed — and the assumption that the courts would let DOL’s new rule slide collapsed along with them. The rule was stayed by temporary injunction Nov. 22, 2016.
We’ll admit we were among those who thought the rule might survive. But for all the drama of November 2016, the year following has been strangely slow and winding. Where has the last year gone? We outline it below.
A judge enjoined the rule with a little over a week to go until implementation, and also questioned concept of a salary threshold. Even with a business-positive outcome, employers were still left wondering: What do I do now — especially if I have already implemented changes? Read More >>
After a long period of radio silence (partly because of delays in confirming a DOL secretary), the DOL finally revealed that it will be abandoning the defense of the Obama-era overtime rule. The department signaled that it will create another rule with a lower threshold, however, by asking the court to approve the concept of a salary threshold. Read More >>
The rule continued its slow, slow death with a summary judgment order from the judge stating that the DOL did not have the authority to make such a rule that “effectively eliminates” the Fair Labor Standards Act’s duties test. While largely seen as beating a dead horse, the ruling also threw into sudden question whether the DOL could make a rule of this nature at all. Read More >>
Not long after a lower court ruled it invalid, the government ended its defense of the overtime rule, stating that its appeal in the 5th U.S. Circuit Court was now moot, anyway. The path is now clear for a whole new rule. Read More >>
In a surprise move (and one that illustrates the longevity of the overtime rule issue), DOL appealed the district court judge's order that halted the update. The appeal seemed tied to the department's plan to move forward with a lower threshold, possibly in the $32,000 to $35,000 range.
Clearly, the debate over the rule isn’t over yet, but it seems all signs point to a new threshold at a more “reasonable” level. Read More >>