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Injunction Halts New Overtime Rules

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

As you may have heard, a U.S. District Judge recently issued a temporary injunction halting the 12/1/16 implementation of the new Department of Labor (DOL) Overtime Eligibility rules.


Background on the New

Overtime Eligibility Rules

The new DOL rules would have required employers to pay overtime to salaried workers making less than $913 per week ($47,476 full time annually). Lehigh University responded to the original ruling by evaluating each position directly affected and choosing one of three change strategies: 


1.       Transition those colleagues making less than $47,476 to a non-exempt status, thus making them eligible for overtime; or

2.       Bump the salary to above $47,476 thus maintaining their status as exempt employees; or

3.       Maintain the current salary but change the appointment to less than 12 months (e.g. 11 months) thus qualifying them above the $913/month salary and maintaining their status as exempt.


These decisions were communicated to affected employees within the past few weeks.


What Lehigh Is Doing Now

In light of this communication and the temporary nature of the injunction, Lehigh has chosen to honor the changes already communicated to staff in cases where their salary was raised or their annual appointment changed. For staff whose status was going to change to non-exempt, managers may choose to maintain them as exempt until resolution of the injunction. 


New hires may be hired under the old guidelines with the knowledge that, if hired as exempt at a salary below $913/month, they may need to be changed in the future if and when the new DOL changes go into effect. 


The injunction is expected to be challenged, however both the timeline and the ultimate resolution are very much up in the air. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Chris Halladay, (extension 85657 or pch214@lehigh.edu) or Lori Claudio (extension 83916 or loc205@lehigh.edu).