On Tuesday, November 22 a federal judge in Texas granted a preliminary injunction against the FLSA rule change mandated by the Department of Labor (DOL) this past May, 2016.
The ruling in favor of lawsuits brought by 21 state attorneys general and a variety of employer groups effectively blocks the FLSA rule change from going into effect by the December 1 deadline nationwide and includes the University of Maine System and its efforts to reach compliance as well.
Currently, the DOL is reviewing all of its legal options and the University of Maine System is in a HOLD status on any implementation of the rule change.
This means that the University of Maine System and those employees identified as being impacted by the FLSA rule change are NOT in a position to move forward with the transition to a new, bi-weekly payroll process on December 1 at this time.
From a practical point of view, the ruling means that each FLSA-impacted employee should anticipate status quo for the month of December, i.e. continuing exempt status and in line to receive a monthly paycheck until further notice or such time as the full ramifications of the recent ruling may be more fully evaluated.
Under the present circumstances, there is no need to begin tracking time worked beginning on December 1 as previously planned nor the requirement of submitting time sheets for the pay period ending December 3.
All requests already received for a vacation payout are in a hold status as well and will not be immediately processed. Such requests will not now be reflected in the December paycheck. Should any employee still wish to submit such a request, please know that it will be held until such time as it is possible to determine whether or not this option remains a viable alternative in regard to the future status of the FLSA rule change.
Important Note:If you made any changes to your tax withholding, your 403B or 457 or any other voluntary contribution through MaineStreet in anticipation of moving to a bi-weekly payroll and now wish to re-adjust them, please be advised that you will have to make those adjustments yourself just as you did initially.
The only adjustment your University of Maine System Office of Human Resources will hold is the vacation payout.
As more information is gathered, the situation monitored, and future consequences of the ruling examined, the University of Maine System will keep you informed as to the status of the FLSA rule change nationwide and its impact upon our own employees here in Maine.
Should you have any specific questions regarding the impact of this most recent development, please reach out to your campus HR Partner for more information.
Please watch for future communications in order to remain updated on important announcements.
Chief Human Resources Officer