No new OT salary target with suit pending

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Federal officials' fight to enact a rule that would have made 4.2 million more workers eligible for overtime compensation won't be carried on by the Trump administration, according to court documents filed in late June.

The rule, introduced in May 2016 under the Obama administration, would have more than doubled the salary threshold for overtime exemptions. Many in the long-term care sector characterized the update as necessary but slammed the increase to a $47,476 salary threshold as “drastic.”

The overtime rule was stopped late last year by an injunction from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, leading to an appeal by the Department of Labor.

That appeal was seemingly dropped with the filing of a court brief by the DOL requesting the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit approve its authority to set a new — and, as some predicted, lower — salary threshold.

“Accordingly, the Department requests that this Court address only the threshold legal question of the Department's statutory authority to set a salary level, without addressing the specific salary level set by the 2016 final rule,” the brief reads. “In light of this litigation contesting the Department's authority to establish any salary level test, the Department has decided not to proceed immediately with issuance of a notice of proposed rulemaking to address the appropriate salary level.” 

At press time, the DOL was expected to publish a request for public comments that would help develop a new overtime rule proposal, according to the department.

“The rulemaking process imposes significant burdens on both the promulgating agency and the public, and the Department is reluctant to issue a proposal predicated on its authority to establish a salary level test while this litigation remains pending,” the DOL said in its brief.