The Department of Labor’s controversial rule that required “white collar” employees to be paid at least $47,476 per year in order to be exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act will NOT go into effect on December 1, 2016 as planned.  A Texas federal judge on Tuesday agreed with 21 states that a nationwide preliminary injunction was necessary to prevent irreparable harm to states and employers if the rule went into effect on December 1.

What does this mean for employers now? It means that for now, the rule will not go into effect on December 1.  But the rule could nonetheless be ultimately upheld, and this is not the final word on the issue.  If you have already announced changes to employee wages or work schedules in preparation to comply with the rule on December 1, you may not want to rescind those changes.  Obviously, before you reverse course it would be prudent to consider employee morale – particularly if you have already advised an employee that she is getting a raise come December 1.  If you are scurrying about to complete your compliance audit and make necessary adjustments, you have some breathing room, at least for now.

We’ll keep you posted on any further developments.