In the article “Triangle lawyers react to federal judge striking down overtime rule,” Triangle Business Journal’s Jennifer Henderson asked Smith Anderson Partner Travis Hockaday to weigh in on a Texas federal judge’s decision to strike down the Obama administration’s overtime rule. Challenged by 21 states, the rule aimed to raise the salary threshold under which employees are entitled to overtime pay to about $47,000.
Employers had reacted differently to the looming potential for change, with some preparing and making adjustments while others chose to wait and see. Though the rule has been thrown out, Travis and other local attorneys agree there are likely still changes ahead for employers, in the Triangle and across the country, and caution that they may have to walk a fine line moving forward.
“Those employers who raised salary levels, reclassified employees from exempt to non-exempt status, and made other changes could try to unravel those changes, but doing so will be a challenge,” Travis said, providing insight to the dilemma employers face moving forward.
“And, regardless of the effect of this decision, all employers would be wise to make sure that employees classified as exempt meet all applicable job duties tests under federal and state laws,” he advised.
Travis’ practice focuses on providing employment-related counseling and risk management advice to businesses in a variety of industries, both public and private, and identifying and managing employment-related issues in mergers, acquisitions and reorganizations. He also represents clients in state and federal courts and agencies throughout North Carolina and other jurisdictions. His experience includes defending wage and hour, ERISA, and other benefit-related claims; and representing clients in investigations conducted by, and proceedings before, both federal and state departments of labor, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice, the North Carolina Industrial Commission and the North Carolina Division of Employment Security.