New OT Rules Enjoined Now but Perhaps Not Forever


As employers grapple with how to handle the proposed or actual employee status and/or compensation changes thought needed under the federal Department of Labor’s new overtime regulations that were then enjoined on November 22 by a federal court in Texas, they must keep in mind that the new regulations are not dead yet. 

In the short term, the current federal Department of Labor filed an appeal of the federal judge’s Decision blocking the new regulations on December 1, 2016, and asked that the briefing on the appeal be expedited so that the decision on the appeal could also be expedited. The Department of Labor may well file another motion to stay the injunction blocking the new regulations which, if granted, would make the new regulations effective while the appeal is pending.

Regardless of the Department of Labor’s success on the expedited and (possible) stay motions in the short term, its underlying appeal of the injunction will be decided in the longer term, a matter of months.  Of course, before the longer term is over, Donald Trump will become President and he has already said he opposes at least some of the provisions of the new regulations.  Accordingly, a Trump Department of Labor could choose to abandon or limit the appeal after the inauguration in January 2017.  As always, stay tuned (and don’t forget the New York minimum salary rules for administrative and executive exemptions).