Overtime Rule in limbo as Obama administration appeals injunction


Across the United States, the H.R. meetings were over, the timecards created and the systems in place, but just days before the Department of Labor’s nationwide Overtime Rule was slated to take effect, a federal judge in Texas issued a preliminary injunction blocking the rule, which would have made 4 million Americans eligible for overtime pay. Now, with only a little more than a month left in office, President Obama’s administration is fighting for the rule by challenging the judge’s decision.

Dec. 1, the day the rule was set to take effect before the injunction, The Department of Labor and its co-defendents filed a notice of appeal at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, NPR reports.

“That injunction was granted to some large businesses and Republican governors who had colluded to try to disrupt the implementation of this rule,” White House Spokesman Scott Horsley said, according to NPR. “And essentially continue to take advantage of more than 4 million of the hardest-working Americans.”

The rule would have made Americans with salaries less than $47,476 eligible for time-and-a-half pay if they worked more than 40 hours in a week. Under the current rule, the salary threshold for overtime eligibility is $23,600. The new rule’s supporters said it was necessary to keep up with inflation and to lend a helping hand to low-income workers, NPR reported.

U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant III issued the preliminary injunction on Nov. 22 after 21 states and several industry groups sued to block the rule.

“A preliminary injunction preserves the status quo while the Court determines the Department’s authority to make the Final Rule as well as the Final Rule’s validity,” Mazzant said, according to the Consumerist, siding with plaintiffs who said “the new overtime rules would have caused an uptick in government costs in their states and made it mandatory for businesses to pay millions in additional salaries. 

President-elect Donald Trump hasn’t said what he would do if the Overtime Rule were to go into effect, but he has already pledged to undo many of President Obama’s executive orders.

For now, the Overtime Rule, which many businesses have already begun implementing and preparing for, hangs in limbo in the Texas court system.

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Dillon Stewart

Dillon Stewart graduated from Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, earning a Bachelor of Science in Online Journalism with specializations in business and political science. Stewart is a former associate editor of LM.

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