AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – The U.S. District Court in Texas granted a preliminary injunction against the Department of Labor’s overtime pay rule, which was scheduled to go into effect on December 1.
The implementation of the rule is now delayed until further review.
Paxton’s office said the new overtime rule “more than doubled the salary threshold for a worker to be entitled to overtime, which would force many state and local governments, as well as private businesses, to substantially increase their employment costs.”
After obtaining the injunction, Attorney General Paxton said:
“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.”
In granting the injunction, U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant said: “the Final Rule . . . is contrary to the statutory text and Congress’s intent” and “Congress, and not the Department, should make that change.”
Other plaintiffs include Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah and Wisconsin.
U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez said after the original lawsuit was filed in September that he was confident in the legality of the rule, calling the lawsuit a partisan and obstructionist tactic. He noted that overtime protections have receded over the years. They applied to 62 percent of U.S. full-time salaried workers in 1975 and just 7 percent today.
“The overtime rule is designed to restore the intent of the Fair Labor Standards Act, the crown jewel of worker protections in the United States,” Perez said in September. “I look forward to vigorously defending our efforts to give more hardworking people a meaningful chance to get by.”
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