DOL Appeals Ruling of 2016 Obama Administration’s Overtime Regulations

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It was announced this week that the U.S. Department of Labor is appealing the district court ruling that struck down the 2016 Obama administration’s overtime regulations that doubled the standard salary level test to $47,476. Although the regulation passed in 2016, it has never taken effect due to ongoing litigation.

According to a Labor Department official, and reported by the Wall Street Journal: “The department is seeking to maintain Secretary Alexander Acosta’s ability to establish overtime regulations. The appeal shouldn’t be viewed as the [current] administration endorsing the threshold set in regulations issued last year,” according to the official.

The Department of Labor is expected to file the appeal this month asking the Fifth Circuit to stay or pause the case to give the department sufficient time to review and possibly reissue updated overtime regulations. Informally, at his confirmation hearing, Secretary Acosta indicated that he believes the standard salary level should be raised, but somewhere closer to the mid-$30,000 range. The DOL has already initiated the process of reviewing the overtime regulations.

What does this mean for you?

For now, employers should remain in compliance with the overtime regulations finalized and implemented in 2004 that set the standard salary level threshold at $23,660 per year. It should be noted that the DOL is actively reviewing the overtime regulations, so employers should prepare themselves for a future update.