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UPDATED 12/9/16: New DoL Overtime Rules Suspended.. For Now.

Posted By Benjamin Bullock, Together SC, Friday, December 9, 2016
Updated: Friday, December 9, 2016

UPDATE:From the National Council of Nonprofits:

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed to expedite its consideration of the Labor Department’s appeal of the nationwide preliminary injunction blocking the Overtime Final Rule, BUT not soon enough for the rule to go into effect before the new Congress convenes and President-Elect Trump is inaugurated. Under the expedited briefing schedule, the last brief will be due on January 31, 2017. See the full briefing schedule here. This means that Congress and the new administration have many options for blocking or altering the rule before it ever goes into effect. Here are some resources worth reading:

o   With DOL’s Overtime Rule in Limbo – Now What?, Nonprofit Knowledge Matters, December 7, 2016.

o   The Status (and Future) of the Overtime Rule, David Heinen, North Carolina Center for Nonprofits, November 23, 2016.

o   Federal Judge Hits Pause Button on Overtime Rule, Nonprofit Knowledge Matters, November 23, 2016.

Original Post on 11/28/16:

Remember those new federal regulations that raised the salary requirement for the overtime exemption to $47,500?  The ones that had many nonprofit leaders excited and anxious at the same time? The ones for which many had already adjusted their policies, practices, and budgets, as they were to take effect on December 1st, 2016?

Well, hold your horses, because they just got thrown in the air. The National Council of Nonprofits reports (emphasis is ours)

On the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, a federal district judge in Texas  issued a nationwide preliminary injunction blocking – at least temporarily – the implementation and enforcement of the Overtime Final Rule that was slated to take effect December 1, 2016. ...The injunction only halts the new rule from becoming law; ... Nonprofit and other employers still must comply with existing federal and state laws regarding fair labor standards, including properly classifying employees as being exempt from or entitled to being paid overtime. 

At this moment, we're not sure what could happen to the new rules. They could be tied up in court until President Trump is inaugurated, in which case he could instruct federal lawyers to drop their challenge to it.

If the matter is settled in court before Jan. 22, and the rules survive, and if the new President wanted to reverse the new rules, then the process is not simple. He'd have to instruct the Department of Labor to issue new regulations, which would take just as long to do (the process for drafting regulations is governed by the federal Administrative Procedures Act, which requires a time-consuming process to be followed) as it took for the current new rules to be drafted and approved. That would mean the new rules could be in effect for at least a year.

And of course, the new Congress could decide to intervene and strike the rules down by disapproving the regulations or amending the Fair Labor Standards Act to forbid the Department of Labor from writing such regulations. Both of these scenarios would be time-consuming as well.

We'll keep you updated as we learn more. Our thanks to our partners at the National Council of Nonprofits for keeping on top of these pressing federal issues. 

Tags:  dol  overtime  Regulations  US Department of Labor 

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