professional exemptions to “depend on an employee’s duties rather than an employee’s salary” and the Final Rule “exceeds its delegated authority and ignores Congress’s intent by raising the minimum salary level such that it supplants the duties test.” The Department of Labor had repeatedly commented that over 4 million currently exempt workers would automatically become non-exempt due to the salary level increase. According to Judge Mazzant, “if Congress intended the salary requirement to supplant the duties test, then Congress and not the Department, should make that change.”
While this preliminary ruling is subject to further consideration and appeal, the new regulations will not be going into effect December 1, 2016, if at all. Stay tuned for further developments on this and other labor and employment issues.
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James B. Yates represents public and private sector employers in all facets of labor and employment law. He has achieved the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification. A member of Eastman & Smith, his practice encompasses collective bargaining, general personnel planning and counseling, equal employment opportunity matters, workers' compensation and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). He regularly consults with clients regarding the drafting and implementation of employment policies and conducts supervisor training. Mr. Yates also serves as Chairman of the Chamber’s Workplace Regulations subcommittee.