On Wednesday, February 22, 2017, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals granted the Justice Department’s request for a 60-day extension to determine its position on the new FLSA overtime exemption rules. The stated reason for the government’s unopposed request was to allow incoming leadership adequate time to consider the issues.
This request for an extension is likely because the Senate needs time to confirm Trump administrations new pick for Labor Secretary, Alexander Acosta, and let him weigh in on the new rules. The extension runs until May 1, 2017. What is not clear is if the Senate can confirm Mr. Acosta and he has time to guide the government’s position by this new deadline.
In the meantime, the district court in Texas is still considering the business groups’ motion for summary judgment to permanently invalidate the new rules and a Texas labor organizations motion to intervene in the case. A decision granting the summary judgment motion could make the appeal irrelevant if the district court enters a permanent injunction before the Fifth Circuit rules.