U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant in Texas has placed a temporary injunction on the Department of Labor’s new federal overtime rule postponing its implementation until a ruling is made or the federal government appeals the injunction. This is welcome news for thousands of business owners across the country and unwelcome news for millions of salaried workers.
New rule and injunction
In short, the new overtime regulations set to go into effect December 1, 2016, would have raised the threshold for overtime pay from $23,660 per year to $47,476 per year, requiring employers to pay overtime wages (40+ hours) to salaried employees who made less than the new threshold. There were about 12 million salaried employees who would have benefited from this regulation.
It gave the employer three options:
- Raise minimum salary threshold above $47,436
- Or pay overtime when a salaried employee worked over 40 hours per week
- Or limit salaried employees’ work hours to 40 hours per week or less
In addition, the rule also provided for triennial adjustments based on the 40th percentile of weekly earnings of full-time salaried workers in the lowest-wage Census region. A few days after consolidating two lawsuits challenging the rule, Judge Mazzant granted the request for the injunction to halt implementation. Click here for more information about the lawsuits.
What now FAQ
Do I as a business owner need to do anything come December 1st?
No, it is business as usual and no payroll needs to be adjusted at this time.
What should I do if I have already made payroll changes to accommodate the new rule?
If you have already reclassified employees to nonexempt status or increased employee salaries in order to maintain their exempt status, experts advise keeping this in place as it would be difficult to take back.
Can the Department of Labor challenge the injunction?
Yes. The department said in a statement that it is currently considering all of its legal options.
Is there still a chance that the new rule will go into effect down the road?
As this is a temporary hold, the same rule or a revised rule could still be implemented. Things are a bit unpredictable with a new administration set to take office January 20th, 2017.
We suggest that you stay up-to-date on any new developments and to make sure you have a plan of action coordinated with your payroll department, be that in-house or contracted. To gain a full understanding of the overtime regulation, click here. As always, we here at Sirvo are dedicated to keeping our users informed about all things hospitality.
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