FLSA Developments: Overtime Pay Rule Invalidated by Court, While Trump Administration Takes Up Salary Threshold Question Anew

A federal trial court recently made permanent its hold on the new overtime rule promulgated by the U.S. Department of Labor, which would have dramatically increased the salary threshold for the “white-collar” employee exemption.  Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Labor has issued a “Request for Information,” seeking public comments about the salary threshold, with intriguing questions.  What does this mean for employers?  Nothing immediately, but all should stay tuned for further developments and continue their attentiveness to applicable overtime requirements.

Shifting Winds on Title VII’s Extension to Sexual Orientation? Zarda v. Altitude Express and the Trump Administration’s Amicus Brief

The Trump Administration has weighed in as to whether Title VII’s employment discrimination protections extend to sexual orientation claims, with a resounding “No.”  Through its amicus (“friend of the court”) brief in the pending federal appeals case of Zarda v. Altitude Express, the U.S. Department of Justice asserts that employment-related sexual orientation discrimination claims do not fall within Title VII’s purview.  

Hively Update: Seventh Circuit Expands Title VII’s “Sex” to “Sexual Orientation,” in En Banc Ruling

When does the word “sex” mean “sexual orientation,” for purposes of employment discrimination? In the pivotal Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College ruling issued last month, an eight-member majority of all the federal Seventh Circuit judges expanded “sex” to encompass “sexual orientation” for purposes of Title VII protection, although for varying reasons expressed through concurring opinions.  Three other judges dissented, urging judicial restraint in light of statutory interpretation constraints and settled law.  How did the judges come to such differing conclusions, and what can nonprofit employers learn from this decision?

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