DOL Appeals Overtime Rule Decision

The Department of Labor has taken another step toward revising the Overtime Final Rule issued by the Obama Administration last year.  The rule would have significantly increased the salary level required to qualify a position as exempt from overtime, raising the threshold from the current rate of around $24,000 per year to more than $47,000 per year.
 
After its publication, the rule was challenged in a federal lawsuit that resulted in a permanent injunction against the rule’s enforcement.  In its decision, the presiding court explained that the Obama Administration improperly focused on a position’s salary level to the exclusion of other factors including job duties, in implementing the changes that it made.
 
Late last month, the Department of Justice filed a notice to appeal this decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on behalf of the DOL.  With this filing, the DOL announced plans to file a motion to hold the appeal in abeyance while the DOL enters into rulemaking on this issue.  The agency intends to propose a further update that would contain a more modest increase to the salary threshold required for exemption.
 
While the timeframe for issuing a proposed rule has not been set, it is clear that whatever the Trump Administration proposes will take into account public input gathered in response to the DOL’s Request for Information regarding the Overtime Final Rule.  The request was published over the summer and resulted in the submission of more than 140,000 public comments.