Here we go… The Department of Labor Appeal

Just when you thought it was safe to get back in the water….  The Department of Labor has filed an Appeal to the injunction.  Federal Judge Amos Mazzant of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas ruled with a nationwide injunction.  The ruling stopped the implementation of the overtime changes that were to take effect on December 1st. Cheers and Jeers were heard across America.

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Now we wait to see how fast this case is heard and what will happen.  Lawyers and experts have said that Judge Mazzant would not have stopped the rule from moving forward unless he thought the 21 states in the lawsuit had a strong case.

With the holidays coming, this appeal will either be rushed or pushed off until the beginning of the year.  As an HR person, I feel like up is down and down is up lately. Everything that the experts thought would happen did not.  I assured everyone mid-year that the $50,000 would be brought down to $35,000 because that seemed reasonable. Wrong. I was certain there would be no injunction because Judge Mazzant was appointed by President Obama and the Department of Labor surely felt confident they were within the law. Wrong again.  Then all the experts told us this was dead until the new administration.  Seriously, Wrong Again!

My hope is that the threshold is revisited to a reasonable rate and this is put off until that can happen.  Reasonable doesn’t seem to be the norm though.  I’m having flashbacks of the first year of Obamacare and the last minute implementations, changes and cancellations.  No one seems to worry about the time it takes to implement, stop and implement these changes again.  My Christmas wish is that they don’t do this the week of Christmas. I hope they get this resolved or give us a timeline next week.  But I won’t hold my breath.  I promise to keep you up to date! #herewegoagain #overtimechanges #departmentoflabor #hrisnotfunindecember

Here is the link to the Appeal for your enjoyment.

 

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Overtime Rule Delayed, Chaos in Kingdom!

The Hail Mary pass worked!  21 states filed an emergency motion for a preliminary injunction in October to stop the revisions to the overtime law.  They believed that the DOL exceeded its authority in raising the threshold by almost double the current standard and by adding an automatic adjustment provision.   Almost every lawyer and national organization told us this was a long shot and advised professionals to prepare for the December 1st implementation.  When Judge Mazzant of the Eastern District of Texas, heard the case last week and promised a decision, those experts said the same thing, stay the course and be prepared.

They were wrong.  The Department of Labor cannot create an evaluation based on salary only.  Judge Mazzant’s ruling states that “the significant increase to the salary level creates essentially a de facto salary-only test.  If Congress intended the salary requirement to supplant the duties test, then Congress-and not the department-should make that change.” The Department of Labor will probably challenge the decision.  They have stated that they are considering all legal options.

This is not a permanent injunction.  It preserves the existing overtime rule until the court has a chance to review the case against the updated regulations.  However, per SHRM (Society of Human Resource Management), “the revised regulation may face an uphill battle: the judge wouldn’t have granted the nationwide preliminary injunction unless, among other things, he thought the states showed a substantial likelihood of succeeding on their claims.”

Now what?

Employers do not need to make any changes to track or pay overtime to employees over the $23,000 threshold if they are exempt.  If employers have adjusted salaries, it would be advised to leave them in place.  It would be difficult to pull them back and we are still in a “limbo” status until a final determination is made.  I believe there will be some adjustment, but it will be lower.

There will be a lot of monitoring of changes to this law and others in the coming days, weeks, and months.  We will keep you informed as the changes come.

For now, enjoy your Thanksgiving.  I’m thankful for the break in work next week that I just received.  I think my table will have Texas roses this year!

 

#FLSA #overtimelaw #overtime #delay #humanresources

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