According to NALP, on Nov. 21, a federal judge blocked the Department of Labor’s controversial new overtime rule from going into effect on December 1. U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant agreed with 21 states and a coalition of business groups, including NALP, that the rule is unlawful and granted our motion for a nationwide injunction.
The rule, issued by the Labor Department, would have doubled to $47,500 the maximum salary a worker can earn and still be eligible for mandatory overtime pay. Judge Mazzant ruled that the federal law governing overtime does not allow the Labor Department to decide which workers are eligible based on salary levels alone. The Fair Labor Standards Act says that employees can be exempt from overtime if they perform executive, administrative or professional duties, but the rule “creates essentially a de facto salary-only test,” Mazzant wrote in the 20-page ruling.
The Labor Department can appeal to the New Orleans, Louisiana-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, but that court has stymied the Obama administration before, blocking Obama’s executive actions on immigration in 2015. In any case, the rule is unlikely to survive when President-elect Donald Trump takes office in January. In August, Trump identified the overtime rule as an example of the type of burdensome business regulations he would seek to roll back as president, perhaps by exempting small businesses or delaying implementation.
Because so many landscape professionals have expressed concern over the proposed rule, NALP wanted to let everyone know about this significant development. If you have any questions, contact Paul Mendelsohn, NALP vice president of government relations.