Late in 2016, everyone was busy preparing to comply with new "white collar" threshold exemptions, only to have the proposed ruling stopped from taking effect at the eleventh hour. As it often happens in our ever-changing payroll world, you may have heard that the rule had come back to the table recently. Many of you were revisiting the plans you had conceived last year to see if they were still viable.
On August 31, a Texas federal district court ruled that the U.S. Department of Labor's rule to increase the minimum salary threshold for exempt “white collar” employees from $455 to $913 per week is invalid. The court has confirmed a preliminary order issued last November, which temporarily blocked the rule from taking effect, saying that the higher salary level impermissibly undercut the effectiveness of the duties test. The court also found that the mechanism that would have adjusted the salary level for inflation, was invalid.
The DOL has said that it plans to revise the regulation and has published a request for information in the Federal Register. Comments are due by September 25 (https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2017-07-26/pdf/2017-15666.pdf). Until new regulations are issued or there is a successful appeal of this decision, the current salary threshold of $455 per week and the duties test both remain in effect.