An additional 60 days was given to the Justice Department to respond to a court order that delayed an Obama administration rule to expand employee eligibility for overtime compensation.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit granted additional time to the department, which filed the request Feb. 22 and has until May 1 to file a brief in the case (Nevada v. DOL, 5th Cir., No. 16-41606, extension granted 2/22/17).
The rule, which would double the salary threshold to be considered exempt from overtime to $47,476 and was to take effect Dec. 1, was put on hold Nov. 22 by federal district court in Texas. Under the rule, a worker earning less than the threshold would qualify for overtime pay at time and one-half the worker’s regular rate.
The Justice Department appealed that injunction before President Barack Obama left office. President Donald Trump took office Jan. 20 and since then has sought more time to examine the rule, especially because the Labor Department’s nominee for secretary has not been confirmed.
“The federal government’s reply brief is currently due March 2, 2017, as extended by this Court. To allow incoming leadership personnel adequate time to consider the issues, the federal government respectfully requests an additional 60-day extension of time, to and including May 1, 2017, in which to file the reply brief,” the Justice Department said.
R. Alexander Acosta, a former member of the National Labor Relations Board, was nominated to the position Feb. 16. President Donald Trump’s first choice, Andrew Puzder, chief executive officer of CKE Restaurants Inc., withdrew from consideration Feb. 15. Acosta’s confirmation process was expected to start after the Senate returned from recess Feb. 27.
This is the second time the Trump administration asked for and was granted an extension. The extension to March 2 was approved by the same court in Texas on Jan. 26.
The challenge to the overtime rule was allowed to continue during the appeal of the temporary injunction that delayed the regulation from taking effect. The decision means that the court may at any time act on the request to permanently stop the overtime rule.
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