DOL Overtime Rule Blocked, Federal Judge Issues Nationwide Preliminary Injunction

Yesterday evening, I looked down at my phone at an e-mail alert from one of our members indicating that the DOL overtime rule that would have necessitated the reclassification and reexamination of over 130,000 workers in Ohio and more than 4 million nationally had been stopped in one fell swoop and almost couldn’t believe it. With just eight days to go, Texas Federal Court Judge Amos L. Mazzant III delivered businesses throughout Ohio and the nation an early Thanksgiving present by issuing a preliminary injunction effectively blocking the Department of Labor’s (DOL) overtime rule from taking effect on December 1st. The rule would have changed the Fair Labor Standards Act’s test for overtime exemptions under the white-collar test by more than doubling salary threshold from $23,660 to $47,476.

The rule, which the Ohio Chamber, along with over 290,000 others, submitted comments on, was challenged in two separate lawsuits. One by the U.S. Chamber and more than 50 other business groups and another by states themselves, including Ohio. The proposed rule was simply regulatory overreach. To double the salary threshold and set it for increases every three years overnight was simply more than businesses could bear and this should have been readily apparent in the number and tone of the comments submitted to the DOL along with the outcry from the business community.

So, at the end of the day, what does this all mean for businesses? The key takeaway is that you can breathe a sigh of relief. Due to this injunction it appears that these overtime regulations will now be DOA. Further, with President-elect Trump, it is likely that a much more business friendly Secretary of Labor will be appointed who will not pursue this same path. For those asking what to do now if you have already made changes due to the impending rule, I would suggest taking a looking at the blog post done by Jon Hyman, who is a member of our Labor and Employment Law Committee and Partner at Meyers, Roman, Friedberg & Lewis.

In the end, this is great news and a big victory for Ohio businesses. We all have one more thing to be thankful for this Thanksgiving! Have a happy Thanksgiving and we will keep you posted if there are any further developments.