Overtime Appeal Faces Further Delay

February 20, 2017

On February 17, 2017, attorneys for the federal government filed an uncontested motion asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit for a 60-day extension of time, to and including May 1, 2017, to file their reply brief in an appeal of the preliminary injunction that halted implementation of the new overtime regulations.

The motion requesting the 60-day extension was filed just one day afterPresident Trump announced that Alexander Acosta is the new nominee to become U.S. Secretary of Labor. Thegovernment’s reply brief originally was due at the end of January, but it obtained a 30-day extension of the due date to March 2, 2017. The first extension was requested and received whilethe nomination of Andrew Puzder for Secretary of Laborstill was pending. In both motions, the government stated that its reason for needing an extension was to “allow incoming leadership personnel adequate time to consider the issues.”

Ironically, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) under President Obama had obtained an order from the Fifth Circuit tofast track the appeal.

Thepreliminary injunction that is the focus of the appealwas issued on November 22, 2016, by a federal district court judge in Texas. The injunction halted the implementation of regulatory revisions that were scheduled to go into effect on December 1, 2016, andwhich would have more than doubled the minimum salary requirements for the major white collar overtime exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act from $455 per week to $913 per week.