In a legal brief submitted last week to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced its intent to reconsider certain Obama Administration revisions to overtime regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Those revisions would have substantially raised the dollar threshold above which employees must be paid in order to be considered FLSA-exempt white-collar employees.

DOL published revisions last year to its FLSA regulations governing the law’s white-collar exemption that would have increased the minimum salary level from $455 per week to $913 per week.  The regulation was blocked by a federal district court shortly before it was scheduled to go into effect, and the case has since been pending appeal before the Fifth Circuit.

In its brief to the appeals court, rather than defending the increased salary level, DOL has instead asked the court simply to confirm that the department has the legal authority to continue to use a minimum salary level to determine overtime eligibility, an issue that was raised by the trial court.  DOL has also informed the Fifth Circuit that it now intends to publish a “request for information” seeking public input on several questions that will aid the agency in developing a new proposal.

As a practical matter, unless the Fifth Circuit somehow prevents DOL from doing so, the agency’s announced intent to restart the regulatory process means that it is likely to be quite some time before a new overtime regulation becomes final.

Members of the Equal Employment Advisory Council (EEAC) can read more here.