The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) asked a district court on Dec. 12 to suspend further action in a case challenging the overtime rule until a federal appeals court decides the Department of Labor's (DOL's) appeal of a preliminary blocking of the rule.

In another wrinkle, the Texas AFL-CIO moved on Dec. 9 to intervene in the case, a motion that, if granted, could keep the litigation alive even if the Trump administration withdraws the DOL's appeal.

The district court granted a preliminary injunction on Nov. 22, barring implementation of the overtime rule. The rule was challenged for more than doubling the exempt salary threshold from a salary of $23,660 a year to $47,476 annually.

In the opinion granting the preliminary injunction, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas Judge Amos Mazzant said that the Department of Labor did not have the right to set an exempt salary threshold for the executive, administrative and professional exemptions. His opinion goes against seven decades of established law. "The legal analysis of the district court opinion is surprising," said Steven Suflas, an attorney with Ballard Spahr.

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