The DOL filed an appeal of the lower court’s granting an injunction staying the implementation of the new overtime regulations. Now, as expected, frankly, the agency has requested that the Fifth Circuit expedite these proceedings. The agency claims that the delay has denied giving additional pay (i.e. overtime) to millions of workers.
The Department of Labor observed that the States themselves asked for an expedited argument and decision. The agency’s theory is that the lower court decision should be reversed because the Judge incorrectly ruled that the FLSA did not provide the agency with the authority to use “a salary-level test” to gauge which workers would be exempt from overtime.
The DOL motion stated that “this court, however, reached the opposite conclusion in Wirtz v. Mississippi Publishers Corp. There, this court emphasized that ‘[t]he statute gives the secretary broad latitude to ‘define and delimit’ the meaning of the term ‘bona fide executive … capacity’,” and rejected the argument “that the minimum salary requirement is arbitrary or capricious.”
The DOL has also contended that the newly revised salary threshold is consistent with the salary levels established over the last seven decades. It notes that the proposed minimum salary level for exempt employees is roughly three times the minimum wage for a 40-hour work week, which is equivalent to the multiplier utilized at the law’s inception, in 1938.
I assumed this request would be made. I also believe the request will be granted as this is an issue of national importance.
That does not mean the lower court decision will be overturned or that the new Administration will not roll back (in some part) the proposed salary level.
We will see…