Temporary Injunction Blocks Fair Labor Standards Act Implementation

 

A U. S. District Court in Texas has issued a temporary injunction preventing new regulations implementing the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) from taking effect on December 1. The case was brought by 21 states and other business organizations opposed to the new regulations.

As many school districts are aware, these new regulations significantly increase the wages required for certain types of employees to qualify as exempt from the requirement to receive overtime or compensatory time. Employers across the country have scrambled to prepare for the December 1 compliance date and in some cases have significantly changed job duties or increased wages in order to comply.

It is unclear what will happen at this time. The injunction is temporary, not permanent, and will likely be appealed immediately. If a higher court reverses the lower court’s decision, the new regulations will be implemented. It is not clear whether a higher court will accept an expedited appeal and if accepted, whether the court will reverse the injunction. It is also unclear whether President-Elect Trump will vigorously enforce the new regulations or reverse them.

So what should school districts do? In the process of complying with the new regulations, many districts have discovered compliance issues that should have been corrected years ago. Districts should move forward in implementing any changes necessary to comply with the FLSA as it has existed in previous years. The injunction only applies to the new regulations, not the law as a whole.

As for compliance with the new regulations, districts have a choice. Given the confusion, MSBA assumes that the U.S. Department of Labor will not take enforcement action against employers who do not implement the new rule on December 1. However, the court injunction could be reversed quickly, and districts will need to be prepared to comply if that occurs. MSBA encourages districts to discuss the risks with the district’s private attorney.

The Legal Department at MSBA will share any news as it becomes available. For more information, contact the MSBA Legal Department at (800) 221-6722.