A lawsuit against Chipotle claims that Department of Labor rules expanding overtime eligibility are in effect despite an injunction issued last November. A class action complaint filed in New Jersey claims that while the injunction may apply to the DOL, it did not block other parties, such as employees, from enforcing the rules in court. According to the lawsuit, since the DOL already finalized and published the rules prior to the injunction, no further steps are required for courts to apply them to the workplace.
Meizlish & Grayson, Attorneys at Law
Our lawyers have collected millions of dollars in back wages for clients who have been wrongly denied overtime pay. We represent both individuals and classes (groups of employees with similar claims) in litigation to recover back pay. These include cases where employers underpay or refuse to pay wages, and cases where employers misclassify employees as exempt from overtime when they entitled to overtime pay based upon their actual job duties. If you have questions about how you are being paid, we would be happy to talk to you confidentially.
On November 22, 2016, a federal judge in the Eastern District of Texas issued a preliminary injunction blocking new overtime regulations which were to go into effect on December 1. The injunction preserves the status quo until the judge issues a decision on the merits. The Department of Labor (DOL) appealed the decision on December 1 to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which granted the DOL’s request for expedited briefing. Anticipating the new rules, many employers had already implemented new pay practices to comply with the changes on overtime eligibility.
On May 17, the Dept. of Labor released Final Rules updating federal overtime requirements. The FLSA requires overtime pay unless an employee is subject to an exemption. The commonly claimed "white collar" exemption contains a salary test and a duties test. The Final Rules do not change the duties' test but raise the salary level that must be paid to invoke the exemption from $23,660 ($455 weekly) to $47,476 ($913 weekly).