News & Articles

DOL'S Overtime Exemption Salary Rule Invalidated by Federal Court

Published on August 31, 2017

On Thursday, August 31, 2017 the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas granted summary judgment invalidating the Department of Labor rule increasing the salary level for overtime exempt employees to $921/week ($47,892/year) and the overtime eligibility threshold for highly compensated workers to $134,000/year. This is the same court that granted a preliminary injunction against enforcement of the rule back in November 2016.  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 overtime exemptions 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.

Rick Lentini is a Member in Ryan Swanson’s Employment, Rights & Benefits Group and can be reached at

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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