The Department of Labor (DOL) today asked the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to clarify its authority to establish a salary threshold for determining overtime eligibility, but did not endorse the Obama-era proposed salary level of $47,476 a year.
In a brief filed in the ongoing appeal over an injunction blocking President Obama’s effort to raise the threshold, the DOL asked the court to “address only the threshold legal question of the department’s statutory authority to set a salary level, without addressing the specific salary level set by the 2016 final rule.”
In his confirmation hearings for labor secretary, Alexander Acosta said he thought the threshold should be raised from the $23,660 established in 2004 should be raised to the $30,000 level.
“In light of this litigation contesting the department’s authority to establish any salary level test, the department has decided not to proceed immediately with issuance of a notice of proposed rulemaking to address the appropriate salary level,” the agency said in its brief.
“Instead, the department soon will publish a request for information seeking public input on several questions that will aid in the development of a proposal.
The lawsuit by 21 states that led to the injunction on the overtime final rule of 2016 questioned the authority of the DOL to establish a salary threshold, so the Trump-era DOL wants clarity on its authority.