A Texas federal court judge has issued a preliminary injunction, delaying the DOL’s changes to the FLSA overtime exemption rule. And while many may welcome the news, the reality is it creates a huge mess for employers.
Granted, you could argue the rule changes themselves created a mess for employers. But for the most part, employers have adapted to them by now in preparation for the December 1 compliance deadline.
Employers are now left wondering: Now what?
For months, employers have been preparing to deal with a higher salary threshold for exemption — along with communicating to employees who make less than $47,000 about how the rule changes would affect those workers.
Now, those same employers are stuck between a rock and a hard place as the rule changes have been delayed indefinitely. Do they revert back to their previous pay practices and act like all the prep work they’ve done up to this point was all for naught — only to possibly have to move forward with their compliance plans in a few months if the DOL successfully defends its position on the rule? That would require a lot of delicate conversations with employees.
Or do employers move forward with their compliance plans as if the injunction/delay was never issued? That could result in having to shell out a lot more overtime than the FLSA would require.
Those are questions employers will have to address on their own — no federal court ruling can help.