Texas federal District Judge Amos Mazzant has preliminarily blocked the US Labor Department's new overtime rule, which was to go into effect on Dec. 1. In the ruling, Mazzant blocked the implementation or enforcement of the salary-related changes in the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's "white collar" exemptions. His decision was in response to an emergency motion by 21 states that had filed suit seeking in invalidate the Labor Department's actions.

Mazzant said that the Labor Department's new regulations are inconsistent with what Congress intended for these exemptions. He also concluded that, while Congress gave the Labor Department the power to define these exemptions, the agency had exceeded that authority.

While for the moment the Labor Department's new regulations are not scheduled to go into effect as previously ruled, it is important to understand that this is a temporary injunction and that the Labor Department is likely to appeal in every way it can.

Oral arguments for summary judgment in the overtime case are scheduled for Monday, Nov. 28. It is unclear which side of the issue will prevail, so convenience retailers should still be prepared for a December 1 enforcement date.