Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Not lookin' good for DOL overtime regulation

Sure, I could just wait two days to see what position the Department of Labor (DOL) actually takes. Instead, I'll read minds and predict the future. First, let's make sure everybody's caught up.

Not official use.
Last year, a new DOL overtime regulation (explained here) would have drastically increased the minimum salary threshold for exempt employees (employees who are exempt from the FLSA requirement that employers pay them time-and-a-half for hours worked over 40 in a workweek - "overtime"). At the last minute, a federal district court granted a nationwide injunction putting the rule on hold. That decision is on appeal to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

While the appeal was pending, we got a new president, Donald Trump. DOL obtained an extension to file their reply brief in the Fifth Circuit case to give them time to figure out what they want to do. The extended deadline is Friday. They could spike the appeal and the rule would be effectively dead. Why do I think that's what they're going to do?

Yesterday, DOL sent a request for information on the overtime rule to the Office of Management and Budget. Why would they be seeking information (and public comment) if they planned on defending the existing rule? It certainly sounds like they're going to let the existing rule die, and come up with something new.