Texas court invalidates FLSA regulation raising the salary test for white collar exemptions

Mike Staebell, Dickinson Law Firm, Iowa Employment & Labor Law, Iowa Wage & Hour Watch, Des Moines Iowa

Posted on 08/31/2017 at 12:00 AM by Mike Staebell

On Thursday, August 31, Federal District Court Judge Amos L. Mazzant of the Eastern District of Texas struck down the Obama administration’s Final Rule on the Fair Labor Standards Act White Collar Exemptions. The rule would have more than doubled the salary test required for the exemptions. That salary increase would have removed from exempt status millions of workers whose duties were such that they are currently exempt. On November 22, 2016 – just days before the December 1, 2016 effective date -- Judge Mazzant issued a preliminary injunction enjoining the final rule pending his final decision.

Here is an excerpt from Judge Mazzant’s ruling:

“Congress unambiguously directed the Department to exempt from overtime pay employees who perform “bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity” duties. However, the Department creates a Final Rule that makes overtime status depend predominately on a minimum salary level, thereby supplanting an analysis of an employee’s job duties. The Department estimates 4.2 million workers currently ineligible for overtime, and who fall below the minimum salary level, will automatically become eligible under the Final Rule without a change to their duties”.

At this point, it is not clear what the Department of Labor’s response will be. On July 26, the DOL issued a Request for Information” (RFI), seeking input from the public on how the White Collar Regulations should be written. Wage and Hour Watch will keep you posted on future developments.

If you have any questions regarding Employment & Labor Law please contact Mike Staebell.   

The material in this blog is not intended, nor should it be construed or relied upon, as legal advice. Please consult with an attorney if specific legal information is needed.

- Mike Staebell


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