Overtime Appeal Faces Further Delay
So what’s the future of the overtime regulations that were supposed to become effective last December, but then got blocked by a federal judge just before Thanksgiving? It appears that we are going to have to wait a while longer to get any sort of a definitive answer.
On February 17, 2017, attorneys for the federal government filed an uncontested motion asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit for a 60-day extension of time, to and including May 1, 2017, to file their reply brief in an appeal of the preliminary injunction that halted implementation of the new overtime regulations.
The motion requesting the 60-day extension was filed just one day after PresidentTrump announced that Alexander Acosta is the new nominee to become U.S. Secretary of Labor. The government’s reply brief originally was due at the end of January, but it obtained a 30-day extension of the due date to March 2, 2017. The first extension was requested and received while the nomination of Andrew Puzder for Secretary of Labor still was pending. In both motions, the government stated that its reason for needing an extension was to “allow incoming leadership personnel adequate time to consider the issues.”
Ironically, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) under President Obama had obtained an order from the Fifth Circuit to fast track the appeal.
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 from $455 per week to $913 per week.