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Obama administration appeals overtime injunction

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

The Obama administration is undertaking a long-shot effort to revive new overtime rules that appear to be on life-support.

On Dec. 1—the very day the rules were to have taken effect—the Department of Justice filed notice that it intends to appeal a preliminary injunction issued Nov. 22 that blocked implementation.

Legal experts say there’s little reason to believe Judge Amos Mazzant of the federal District Court for the Eastern District of Texas will change his mind about the merits of a lawsuit filed by 21 state attorneys’ general and a similar suit filed by a coalition of business groups.

Mazzant ruled that there is reason to believe the attorneys general will be able to show that the Department of Labor overstepped its authority under the Fair Labor Standards Act when it decided to double the overtime salary threshold for exempt employees to $47,476 per year. The lawsuits argue that the FLSA requires some adjustment to the overtime duties test as well.

At press time, no hearing date had been set for either the Obama administration appeal or the lawsuits themselves. Barring swift and unexpected action, it seems likely that the overtime rules will expire, never having been implemented, when the Trump administration seizes power Jan. 20.

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