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WASHINGTON, D.C. — The United States Justice Department wants a Louisiana federal appeals court to pause a case challenging the Labor Department's pending overtime rule so the Trump administration can decide whether to defend that rule, reported Bloomberg BNA.
On Jan. 25, Justice Department lawyers asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit a 30-day extension on the deadline to file a brief in the case, Nevada v. DOL, 5th Cir., No. 16-41606).
"We're concerned that they're asking for more time because they're considering reversing their strong support for this important worker protection," Adina Rosenbaum, an attorney for Public Citizen Litigation Group, told the news outlet. On behalf of congressional Democrats, Public Citizen has filed a friend of the court brief requesting that the court lift an injunction currently blocking the rule from going into effect.
President Trump's nominee for Secretary of Labor, Andrew Puzder, is one of multiple business leaders who have criticized the overtime rule, which would have made approximately four million more workers eligible for overtime pay starting in December.
On Nov. 22, Judge Amos Mazzant ruled that the Department of Labor exceeded its authority by focusing on salaries to determine whether employees are eligible for overtime pay or not. Mazzant stated that the department should instead examine the duties that employees perform to determine if they qualify as "executive, administrative or professional" workers who are exempt from overtime requirements.
Judge Mazzant previously declined the Department of Labor's request to put the case on hold pending the Fifth Circuit's review of the temporary injunction.
If granted, the extension would move the government's next filing deadline to March 2.