Capitol Correspondence - 02.17.17

DOJ Asks for Extension in Overtime Rule Case

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On January 25, the Department of Justice (DOJ) asked for a 30-day extension on the deadline to file a brief in the case of Nevada v. DOL, 5th Cir. No. 16-41606. (See WICs article, “Judge Declines to Stay Injunction in Overtime Rule Case,” January 15, 2017.) In November, a federal district court issued an injunction against the Department of Labor’s Overtime Exemption rule from being implemented. The rule significantly increased the salary threshold below which employees had to be paid overtime. With that injunction, the rule did not go into effect as scheduled, and has been in a state of legal limbo. After the injunction, the DOJ (who is the agency tasked with defending the rule), appealed the ruling. However, the DOJ has now asked for additional time to file a brief to be reviewed by the appeals court, presumably in order to ensure that the department’s position aligns with that of the new administration. 

Labor groups have filed “friend of the court” motions to ask the court to lift the injunction and allow the rule to take effect. The extension that DOJ has asked for would push the filing deadline to early March, at which point it is possible that DOL will have a new Secretary, and some uncertainty surrounding the rule’s fate will become more clear. Republican members of Congress have spearheaded an effort to curb the rule’s impact through legislative means. It is possible that Congressional action will render upcoming court actions moot.