Veterinary employers nationwide were shielded from an expanded overtime pay rule when a federal court in Texas issued a preliminary injunction.
The rule, which was set to go into effect Dec. 1, would have raised the minimum salary needed to exempt most employees from overtime pay. The baseline would have jumped from $455 a week, or $23,660 a year, to $913 a week, or $47,476 a year.
The court found that such a significant increase ran contrary to the federal wage-and-hour statute and congressional intent.
The Labor Department has the option to appeal the decision. However, the new secretary of labor under the Trump administration could push to modify the rule or withdraw it.
The injunction was issued Nov. 22 after a lawsuit filed by 21 states challenged the validity of the rule.
“Veterinary practices that have not yet achieved compliance with the new overtime rule are off the hook for now,” said Massachusetts business law attorney Todd A. Newman. “However, contingency planning is advisable, as the rule could be reinstated as the lawsuit winds its way through the legal system.”