On April 27, 2017, the U.S. Senate confirmed Alexander Acosta as the next U.S. Secretary of Labor by vote of 60-38. Acosta is a former U.S. Department of Justice and National Labor Relations Board member. Secretary Acosta will now face the monumental task of coordinating Trump’s policy shifts within the department. A key issue demanding his attention is the Obama administration’s overtime rule, which increased the minimum salary threshold to $47,476. During his confirmation hearing before the Senate committee, Secretary Acosta acknowledged that the threshold was due for an increase but stated that the move to $47,476 was excessive. Because a Texas federal judge enjoined the prior administration’s rule prior to its December 1, 2016, effective date, Secretary Acosta will have to determine whether to pursue an appeal of the injunction to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Employers will be watching these developments closely in the coming weeks and months.
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