Yesterday, a federal judge of a U.S. District Court in Texas granted a nationwide preliminary injunction postponing enforcement of the new FLSA overtime and exempt status regulations until the Court is able to evaluate their legality. Twenty-one states filed suit in Texas challenging the validity of the regulations, arguing that the new regulations are outside of the scope of the Department of Labor's authority and cannot be lawfully enforced. The Court's decision yesterday does not throw out the regulations all together, but instead delays their enforcement for a period of time to allow the Court to evaluate the substantive issues of the plaintiff states' claims.
Thus, employers can breathe a sigh of relief for the time being as enforcement will not begin on December 1, 2016 as previously announced. However, employers should be prepared to comply in case the Court ultimately affirms the legality of the new regulations. Employers should continue, or begin as the case may be, their analysis to determine which positions are impacted by the new regulations and what actions need to be taken should compliance become necessary.
For more details about the new FLSA regulations and suggestions for preparing for compliance in the event they are enforced, please see here.