As employers throughout the nation prepare for the Department of Labor’s Overtime Rule to take effect on December 1st, a legal challenge by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups, as well as 21 states, continues to wind its way through a Federal District Court in Texas. Yesterday, Judge Mazzant of the Eastern District of Texas adjourned a motion hearing without ruling on the business groups’ motion to enjoin the new rule, but, in so doing, the Judge stated that he expected to issue his ruling on November 22d. If Judge Mazzant issues the requested injunction in such a manner as to have nationwide effect, then the Overtime Rule that increases the salary threshold for white collar exemptions to $47,476 annually will not go into effect on December 1st. Thus, the current salary threshold of $23,660 would remain in effect. If, instead, the motion is denied, another hearing is expected to occur on November 28th in response to the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment – again seeking to strike down the Overtime Rule. Judge Mazzant’s aggressive questioning of both sides during the November 16th motion hearing has not provided any real clue as to how he is apt to rule.
We will continue to monitor developments on this issue and provide updates following substantive rulings by the Judge. In the meantime, it is wise to continue to prepare as if the Overtime Rule will, in fact, go into effect on December 1st as planned.