When a Texas judge imposed an injunction halting the new federal overtime rule on November 22, human resources consultant David Lewis’s phone started ringing off the hook with calls from harried executives, wondering what to do next. The rule, which nearly doubled the salary cap for having to pay overtime to managers to $23,660 to $47,476, was to go into effect December 1, after a six-month comment period and another three for employers to prepare for the change.
But now all bets were off. The rule was an executive order from outgoing President Barack Obama’s administration--and President-elect Donald Trump and the Republic-led Congress could make short work of it after Inauguration Day on January 20.
The timing of the injunction—late in the day on November 22, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving—couldn’t have been worse, says Lewis, the president and CEO of Operations Inc., an HR consulting company that counts manufacturing companies among its clients. To comply with the rule by December 1, the payroll deadline for many companies that pay on a two-week cycle was November 21.