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April 24, 2017

Trump administration seeking more time on overtime lawsuit

The Trump administration is seeking a delay until June 30 in filing a legal brief in the lawsuit over new overtime rules initiated by the Obama administration that were originally supposed to take effect nationwide last Dec. 1.

As drafted by the Obama administration the overtime rule would raise the salary for exempt workers from $23,660 to $47,476 a year, with an automatic increase every three years.

But 21 states, all but one with Republican governors, filed a lawsuit seeking to block the rule, a motion that was temporarily granted by a Texas judge last November. Maine Gov. Paul LePage joined that lawsuit as an individual plaintiff.

Obama's Department of Labor appealed the temporary injunction, but the new Trump administration still awaits confirmation of Alexander Acosta as Labor Secretary and its Department of Justice is asking the court for more time to prepare its response to the lawsuit that is now before the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

HRDive reported Friday that the delay request "might signal the DOL's desire to end litigation over the overtime rule, especially without a leader."

The Society for Human Resource Management reported that once Acosta is confirmed there will likely be greater clarity from the Trump administration about how to approach the pending lawsuit over the new overtime rules.

Quoting Steven Suflas, an attorney with Ballard Spahr in Denver, Colo., and Cherry Hill, N.J., SHRM reported, "'It is likely that the new administration will advocate for an increase in the white-collar salary level regardless of the injunction,' though not at the $47,476 level." Suflas told SHRM that during his confirmation hearing Acosta had said there should be a new salary level of $33,000.

Read more

Proposed federal overtime rule goes to the White House for review

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