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Court Enjoins Overtime Rule Change, ATA Applauds Action

November 23, 2016, by David Cullen

Image: USCourts.gov
Image: USCourts.gov

A federal judge has halted changes to federal overtime rules that would have taken effect on Dec. 1. Judge Amos Mazzant of the U.S. Court for the Eastern District of Texas issued a preliminary injunction on Nov. 22 in a lawsuit brought by the National Retailer Federation along with Attorneys General of 21 states and over 50 business lobbies.

The plaintiffs contend the rule changes are unlawful. The ruling is temporary in that it puts the new rules on hold until the court reaches a final decision.

“We are pleased that Judge Mazzant has enjoined the Department of Labor’s new overtime rule, which set an arbitrarily high salary threshold for employees covered by the ‘white collar’ exemption to the overtime requirements of federal law,” said American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear in a statement.

Spear said that “by doubling the threshold from its current level of $23,660 to $47,476,” the new overtime rule “would have forced millions of salaried professionals to be treated like hourly employees.

“In the trucking industry,” he added, “the rule change would have affected countless salaried dispatchers and other managers who need the flexibility to work as the need arises, in response to unpredictable operational demands. At the same time, it would have forced the carriers they work for to begin micromanaging their time.”

National Retail Federation Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French called the overtime changes “a reckless and aggressive overreach of executive power.”

He characterized the Labor Department’s changes as “just plain bad public policy… We hope the judge ultimately finds in our favor, and in the meantime this timeout gives Congress a chance to take another look at the impact of these rules.”

According to NRF, research conducted for it by Oxford Economics found that the new overtime rules “would force employers to limit hours or cut base pay in order to make up for added payroll costs, leaving most workers with no increase in take-home pay despite added administrative costs.”

NRF said the lawsuit argues both that the $47,476 annual minimum salary for workers to be exempt from overtime set by the new overtime rules, more than double the current level, and the automatic increase in that amount every three years exceed the Labor Department’s statutory authority under the Fair Labor Standards Act and are in violation of the intent of Congress.

Comments

  1. 1. MC [ November 25, 2016 @ 04:39AM ]

    Of course anything that helps the working class will be blocked by conservative judges and politicians to help their special interest groups. The only reason this is even being blocked is because it was proposed by Obama. If Trump were to echo this same EO word-for-word, conservatives would worship him as a god.

    The way the current OT 'exempt' laws are written now promote slave labor. Millions of people are putting in countless hours of unpaid OT for garbage salaries. I work with people that when you figure in the hours works VS his salary, he actually makes less than $6 per hour. As salaried employees, we don't get sick days or even lunch breaks and are EXPECTED to work as much overtime as the company demands and our highest paid non-managers make less than the regional median wage. This EO would have brought a stop to this overly-abused law and allow us to get paid fairly for the hours we work.

  2. 2. Dennis [ November 26, 2016 @ 07:09PM ]

    I don't like this ruling but MC needs to do research before saying things he knows nothing about. He/she claims that this is what a conservative judge would do. Judge Amos Mazzant was nominated to the bench by Barack Obama on June 26, 2014. I really doubt he is conservative. You just might want to rethink your misplaced bias claim.

  3. 3. Carlton [ November 28, 2016 @ 05:59AM ]

    truck drivers don't get sick pay, overtime. lunch breaks. and we put in a lot of time waiting for free,

  4. 4. DT [ November 28, 2016 @ 07:16AM ]

    While, MC might be wrong on the appointment, he is not wrong on his opinion of this law and how it effect every day working men and women, I have been one of those managers/salaried employees, one year I worked so much overtime for free that I was making a hourly wage of 5.75. This would have taken many of middle managers and given them a chance to actually get paid for the hard work they endure building the bosses empire. Know the facts in regards to who this would have helped. http://www.epi.org/publication/who-benefits-from-new-overtime-threshold/

  5. 5. SLM [ November 28, 2016 @ 08:45AM ]

    More ignorance from Obama. Thankfully there was a judge with enough sense to stop this. Doubling the salary minimum would just cause employers to cut salaried employees back to 40 hours per week and stop overtime pay. Do you really think employers would just go by the law double an employees salary? Sort of like employees getting cut back to less than 30 hours to prevent employees from being eligible for the stupid Obama health care mandate. I'm going to celebrate when Obama is gone and someone with some business sense walks into the oval office.

  6. 6. Linwood Windsor [ November 28, 2016 @ 01:39PM ]

    Bosses like their freebes even if they come from employees .

  7. 7. Joseph G Knudson [ November 28, 2016 @ 02:15PM ]

    Business takes advantage of lots of salaried employees with free OT. The problem is that for most issues if the free market can't or won't fix the problem the government will step in. And when the government steps in they can't just fix a problem, they need to fix all current and possible problems with the issue. This is a classic example of business failing to be fair and the government putting in an over reaching solution.

  8. 8. MC [ November 29, 2016 @ 04:13AM ]

    Sorry Dennis, but just because Obama appointed him that does not make him a liberal. Judge Mazzant is a Republican. You might want to do a little bit of research before calling someone out.

  9. 9. Pete [ December 03, 2016 @ 09:51PM ]

    SLM, let's look at what you said. "...would just cause employers to cut salaried employees back to 40 hours per week and stop overtime pay."

    You understand they are not GETTING overtime pay, they are getting paid the same whether they work 40 hour or 60 hours? And that employers fought this law because they liked being able to get 60 hours of work out of a person without paying them any extra?

    This basically said "Hey wait, if you're gonna pay someone less than $47000 salary and work them overtime, you have to pay them overtime."

    What is wrong with that? Fair compensation for work done is something that should be nonpartisan.

 

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