DOL Intends to "Revisit" $47,476 Minimum Salary for Overtime-Exempt Employees

Author: Michael Cardman, XpertHR Legal Editor

June 30, 2017

The Trump administration today defended its right to establish a minimum salary level for overtime-exempt employees, but announced it intends to "revisit" the $47,476 minimum that had been set last year by the Obama administration.

In 2016, the US Department of Labor (DOL) issued new Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations that would have roughly doubled the minimum salary for many overtime-exempt employees from $23,660 to $47,476. But days before the regulations were to take effect, a federal district court issued a preliminary injunction that prevented the DOL from implementing and enforcing them. The court said the FLSA statute "does not grant the [DOL] the authority to utilize a salary-level test."

The DOL appealed to the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn the injunction. On June 30, the Department of Justice (DOJ), on behalf of the DOL, filed a brief asking the 5th Circuit to reaffirm the DOL's statutory authority to establish a minimum salary level for FLSA-exempt employees.

However, the DOJ asked the appellate court not to address the validity of the specific salary level set by the 2016 regulations, which, it said, the DOL "intends to revisit through new rulemaking."