As anticipated, the Department of Labor has filed its Notice of Appeal with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, asserting that Judge Mazzant’s Nov. 22, 2016, Order enjoining the enforcement of the Department of Labor’s Final Overtime Rule “rests on an error of law and should be reversed.” The DOL has also requested that the court enter an expedited briefing schedule for the appeal that would require all briefing to be completed by Feb. 7, 2017, with oral argument to be scheduled for the first available date thereafter.
Giving the court a preview of its opening brief, the DOL declared that the District Court’s ruling directly contravened the Fifth Circuit’s prior ruling in Wirtz v. Mississippi Publishers Corp., 364 F.2d 603 (5th Cir. 1966), which found that the DOL had “broad latitude to ‘define and delimit’ the meaning of the term ‘bona fide executive … capacity.’” The DOL also asserted that the updated salary level under the Final Rule is commensurate with salary levels that the DOL has set over the past 75 years, explaining that the original ratio between the minimum salary level and minimum wage is roughly the same under the Overtime Final Rule (3.15) as it was under the 1938 regulations (3.0).
The DOL has requested that the Court issue a ruling on the expedited schedule by December 8, 2016. Plaintiffs/Appellees, consisting of a group of 21 states led by Texas and Nevada, oppose the expedited scheduling and have indicated their preference to wait until after the District Court has ruled on the motion for summary judgment currently pending in a companion case brought by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and over 50 other national and Texas business groups on September 20, 2016. Continue Reading