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What a wild ride since my last post on the changes to FLSA overtime exemption rules. A Texas judge granted a national injunction at the request of 21 states and business organizations, stating that the new salary threshold specified in the law was “executive overreach” and required a change in the law from Congress.
The late announcement poses an interesting choice to employers: rescind announced salary changes or leave them in place? It seems likely that, at most institutions, salary increases will not be sustained if the FLSA rule change is nixed. Higher Ed professionals should expect some very thorough “dialogues” with “stakeholders” that will ultimately return the almost-non-exempt back to their status quo at current salary.
Terminating FLSA overtime expansion is the first shot in what’s shaping up to be four years of political warfare over the new status-quo on a host of social and workplace issues. The electoral college is giving us a president who lost the popular vote by nearly 2 million voters; slim Republican majorities in the House and Senate exacerbate the uncertainty.
The social and economic agendas of the progressive majority is on a collision course with the politically-empowered minority coalition of corporate barons and Culture Crusaders. Those of us in Higher Ed should be surveying our institutional landscape, identifying vulnerable students and programs, and preparing to support and defend them in hostile climate.