The Department of Labor’s 2016 rule increasing the salary threshold for the white-collar exemptions (executive, administrative, and professional) from the wage and hour laws are now history.
On August 31st, a U.S. district judge in Sherman ruled against the rule, concluding that the threshold was set so high that duties requirements of the exemptions no longer mattered. The judge backed off his earlier conclusion that the DoL did not have the authority to set a salary threshold at all.
The final nail in the coffin was hammered in when, on September 6th, the 5th Circuit court of appeals in New Orleans dismissed the DoL’s appeal of the judge’s injunction against the rule. The DoL under Secretary Acosta had already stopped defending the new salary threshold, but was still arguing that it had the authority to set one. After the August 31st order, the DoL asked the 5th Circuit to dismiss its appeal, and the court obliged.
The rule may be dead, but it may be resurrected before long; in July, before the axe fell on the rule, the DoL issued a “request for information” asking eleven questions about salary levels for the white-collar exemptions. Public comments are due on September 25th. This is your chance to chime in!