Overtime Final Rule — Obama Provides and the Court Takes Away

On Tuesday, November 22, District Judge Amos Mazzant III of United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division, granted an Emergency Motion for Preliminary Injunction and thereby enjoined the Department of Labor from implementing and enforcing its Overtime Final Rule nationally, pending further order by the court. Siding with the 21 states and business owners who brought the suit, the court said employers currently do not need to comply by the original December 1, 2016, effective date.

The Obama administration rule would have extended overtime eligibility to 4 million Americans who earn less than $47,476 a year, a threshold roughly twice as high as the current one.
With Republicans controlling both houses of Congress and the Trump administration set to take office in January, the rule’s legality may never be determined by the court. Most industry experts anticipate that President Trump will reverse the rule before a final decision is rendered by Judge Mazzant.

According to an NPR story, business owners who were prepared to comply with the rule starting this week are now waiting to see what happens next.

Per a DOL website, the Overtime Final Rule focuses primarily on updating the salary and compensation levels needed for Executive, Administrative and Professional workers to be exempt. Specifically, the Final Rule sets the standard salary level at the 40th percentile of earnings of full-time salaried workers in the lowest-wage Census Region, currently the South ($913 per week; $47,476 annually for a full-year worker).