News & Articles

Obama's Overtime Exemption Salary Rule Blocked Ahead of Implementation

Published on November 23, 2016

On Tuesday, November 22, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas granted a nationwide preliminary injunction against enforcement of the Department of Labor rule increasing the salary level for overtime exempt employees to $921/week ($47,892/year) on December 1.  Judge Mazzant ruled that the Department of Labor lacked authority under the Fair Labor Standards Act to impose a salary-level test or an automatic updating mechanism. The court reasoned that the statutory exemptions for executive, administrative and professional workers are focused on the workers’ duties, not their pay level, and that the statute does not authorize the Department of Labor to impose the new rule which elevates the level of compensation over actual job duties. The result is that the salary level for exemptions remains at $455/week until the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals or the U.S. Supreme Court addresses the issue, which could take several months.

Please contact any member of our Employment Rights, Benefits & Labor Group with questions.


Rick Lentini is a member in Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC’s Employment Rights, Benefits and Labor Group and can be reached at 206.654.2231 or

This message has been created by the Employment Rights, Benefits & Labor Group at Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC to advise of recent developments in the law. Because each situation is different, this information is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice on any specific facts and circumstances. Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC is a full-service law firm located in Seattle, Washington.


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