Last updated on September 8th, 2017 at 11:23 am
Last week, a federal judge in Texas overturned an Obama Administration rule that expanded overtime protections.
U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant said the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) didn’t use a salary-level test correctly to figure out which employees would be exempt from overtime compensation.
Judge Mazzant ruled in favor of the Plano Chamber of Commerce and more than 55 other business groups challenging the Obama-era rule, saying the DOL “has exceeded its authority and gone too far with the final rule.”
He also said the DOL’s final rule makes overtime eligibility dependent on a minimum salary level regardless of an employee’s job duties, and that “because the final rule would exclude so many employees who perform exempt duties, the department fails to carry out Congress’s unambiguous intent.”
According to the judge, Congress intended for employees to be exempt from overtime if they actually perform “white collar” jobs, so an employee cannot be found exempt from overtime by salary alone.
His ruling grants summary judgment to the challengers of the 2016 rule that bumped the minimum salary threshold from approximately $23,000 per year to around $47,000 annually to qualify for the Fair Labor Standards Act’s “white collar” overtime exemption.
Mazzant said, “The department creates a final rule that makes overtime status depend predominately on a minimum salary level, thereby supplanting an analysis of an employee’s job duties. Because the final rule would exclude so many employees who perform exempt duties, the department fails to carry out Congress’s unambiguous intent.”
The Trump Administration’s DOL has requested feedback on how to revise the Obama-era rule, with comments due Sept. 25.