It’s official. The DOL has called “abandon ship” on its new overtime rule – the one that more than doubled the salary basis threshold before an employee could meet a white collar overtime exemption. Instead, the DOL plans to look at raising the threshold to a more reasonable level in a second new rule.
The DOL left it to the lawyers, of course. In a legal brief filed with the Fifth Circuit, DOL lawyers explained the agency’s change of heart. Although the DOL is dropping its appeal to keep its first new rule, the agency still says that the district court got it wrong when it ruled that the agency has no authority to set a salary-level threshold for exemptions. That part of the appeal lives on.
Our wait for a second new rule may be a long one. The DOL’s brief says that the agency won’t issue a new proposed rule until its authority to set a salary level has been resolved in court. The fight in the Fifth Circuit may go on for another couple years, and then there’s the appeal to SCOTUS…
Here’s the big question: If the first new overtime rule would have given overtime pay to 4.2 million Americans, how many will be affected by the second rule?
For practical pointers on what to do now (and a stab at where the DOL will want to set the salary basis threshold), check out our last post on this – Coming Soon: The New, New DOL Overtime Rule?.
We’ll keep you up to speed on the latest from the DOL. Stay tuned.