A federal judge in Texas has blocked the Department of Labor's (DOL's) new federal overtime rule, which would have raised the Fair Labor Standards Act's (FLSA's) salary threshold for exemption from overtime pay from $23,660 to $47,476.
This is a preliminary injunction and therefore isn't permanent, as it simply preserves the existing overtime rule—which was last updated in 2004—until the court has a chance to review the merits of the case objecting to the revisions to the regulation.
For now, the overtime rule will not take effect as planned on Dec. 1, so employers may continue to follow the existing overtime regulations.
The changes to the overtime rule could still be implemented later down the road. The DOL has already stated "the overtime rule is the result of a comprehensive, inclusive rulemaking process, and we remain confident in the legality of all aspects of the rule," and that they are currently considering all of their legal options.
Employers who have already taken steps to comply, by increasing their exempt employee salaries, or by reclassifying exempt employees whose salary levels did not comply with the new salary threshold to a non-exempt status, will probably want to leave these increases in place.
Employers who have not yet taken steps to comply, can hold off on making any changes, for now. However, employers should not assume that the rule will be permanently barred and should still have a plan to move forward if necessary in the future.
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Source: HR 360, Inc.
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