Federal Judge in Texas Blocks Obama Overtime Rule Change
A federal judge in the state of Texas Tuesday ruled in favor of the state and 20 others who sought to block President Obamas controversial new overtime regulations from going into effect December 1.
Under the new FLSA standards – rules which were unilaterally changed by the department of labor under directives from the White House – anyone making less than $47000 a year would be eligible for overtime pay after they'd worked over forty hours in a week, even if they were a salaried employee. That's a doubling from the current level of roughly $23000.
As I mentioned in an earlier post on this topic, it's wild for the Obama administration to think it can simply wave a magic wand and suddenly millions of Americans are making overtime pay at time and a half compensation. This adjustment is more of an incentive for businesses to cap employee hours at exactly 40 and not one minute more, utilizing part time workers to make up the difference. It also makes businesses less willing to elevate lower paying employees, and places the management threshold higher.... meaning opportunities will be fewer if this rule goes into effect.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton was one of the plaintiffs suing the Obama administration for overstepping its bounds.
“The Obama administration proved true to form when it ordered the Department of Labor to revise its interpretation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Namely, the administration assumes that through force of will alone, it could order a new economic reality into existence. The finalized overtime rule hurts the American worker. It limits workplace flexibility without a corresponding increase in pay and forces employers to cut their workers hours. All in all, it exchanges the advantages of negotiated benefits, personal to each worker, with a one-size-fits-all standard that only looks good in press statements. Not on my watch," The Attorney General said in a statement.
Judge Amos Mazzant's ruling can be found here.
Although the ruling could be appealed, the conservative Texas appeals courts are not seen as an ideal setting for the administration. The incoming Trump administration is not believed to be in favor of this unilateral move and new regulations.