UPDATE: DOL Continues to Punt the Appeal of Obama Administration’s Proposed Overtime Rule Downfield

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05/30/2017

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UPDATE: DOL Continues to Punt the Appeal of Obama Administration’s Proposed Overtime Rule Downfield

 By: Gregory Blueford

As anticipated, the Trump Administration has slowed the appeal process on the injunction of the Obama Administration’s proposed changes to the federal overtime rules.  You can read more about the proposed rule here, which would have increased the federal “white collar” overtime exemption from $23,660 to $47,479, and information about the injunction granted by a U.S. District Court (here).

Before President Trump’s inauguration, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) attempted to expedite the briefing process as it hoped (perhaps foolishly) that it could get the Court to hear the appeal before Trump took over. That did not happen. On February 17, 2017, the DOL requested, and was granted, their second extension to file its final brief, with the deadline now on May 1, 2017. In its unopposed motion, the DOL requested the additional time to “allow incoming leadership personnel adequate time to consider the issues.” This further request may be due to Andrew Puzder’s “withdrawal” from consideration as Secretary of Labor, or may be due to other interests that are priorities to the administration at this time.

In lieu of Puzder bowing out, Trump has nominated Alexander Acosta, current dean of Florida International University College of Law, to become labor secretary. Acosta’s path to Trump’s cabinet should be significantly easier than Puzders, as he has been confirmed by the Senate for three prior positions, including being named as a member of the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”). While serving on the NLRB, Acosta took a primarily conservative approach. You can read more about Acosta’s qualifications, history, and baggage here.

COUNSEL TO MANAGEMENT:

It is hard to imagine the Trump Administration actually filing an appeal seeking to overturn the Court’s preliminary injunction since they have previously denounced the proposed rule. On January 3, 2017, the District Court denied Plaintiffs’ motion to halt the proceedings until the appeal is heard. Subsequently, the Plaintiffs filed a motion to have to case thrown out. It seems that the DOL is going to play the waiting game and “delay” their appeal until after the lower court issues a ruling on the Plaintiffs’ motion. These tactics, along with the Court’s previously ruling to block the overtime rule during the Obama Administration, makes it extremely unlikely that this law will ever see the light of day. The Saqui Law Group will keep you informed of any new developments with this overtime law and all important employment and labor legal developments.
 

 

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