DOL Overtime Rule Appeal Faces Uncertainty
Efforts to fast track the appeal of a nationwide preliminary injunction that prevents the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) from implementing drastic proposed revisions to federal overtime regulations just got “Trumped.”
After obtaining an order in December 2016 to expedite the appeal while President Obama was still in office, attorneys for the federal government filed a short, unopposed motion on January 25, 2017, asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit for a 30-day extension of time to file their reply brief, stating: “The requested extension is necessary to allow incoming leadership personnel adequate time to consider the issues. Plaintiffs’ counsel has authorized us to state that they consent to this extension motion.”
The preliminary injunction that is the focus of the appeal was issued on November 22, 2016, by a federal district court judge in Texas. The injunction halted the implementation of regulatory revisions that were scheduled to go into effect on December 1, 2016, and which would have more than doubled the minimum salary requirements for the major white collar overtime exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) from $455 per week to $913 per week.
The DOL already has filed its opening brief on appeal, and the plaintiffs in the case have filed their response. Amicus briefs in support of both sides also have been filed. Absent the requested extension, the DOL’s reply brief is due on January 31. If the extension is granted as requested, the DOL’s reply brief will be due on March 2. However, it also is possible that, after considering the issues, incoming leadership will abandon the appeal.