In response to today’s ruling by U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant in Sherman, Texas, enjoining the U.S. Department of Labor’s expansion of overtime pay eligibility, Christine Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project, issued the following statement:
“U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant’s decision today postpones the effective date of the long-awaited overtime protections for the nearly 12.5 million workers who have been working long hours for low pay.
“The business trade associations and Republican-led states that filed the litigation in Texas opposing the rules have won today, but will not ultimately prevail in their attempt to take away a long-overdue pay raise for America’s workers. Unfortunately, for the time being, workers will continue to work longer hours for less pay thanks to this obstructionist litigation.
“Supporters of the rule are considering a range of legal strategies, and it’s premature to speculate about the course they’ll pursue if an appeal is filed. We believe the judge’s analysis and decision are deeply flawed and should be reversed on appeal.
“In the meantime, we hope that the Obama administration and the Trump administration will vigorously defend and enforce the rule, keeping a promise to the American people that workers will be paid fairly for their overtime hours and that families will have more time together.
“Particularly on this eve of Thanksgiving, the quintessential American holiday, nothing could be more important than assuring all of America’s workers that fair pay is a non-partisan issue, and that government has their backs.”
The DOL’s final rule, published in May and set to take effect on December 1st, strengthens critical overtime protections for up to 12.5 million workers. The rule raises the overtime salary threshold to $47,476, below which most salaried workers are overtime-eligible. This threshold had been updated only once in the last 40 years, meaning that workers earning as little as $23,665 a year were not entitled to overtime pay prior to the updated rule. Recent polls (here and here) show the updated overtime regulations are very popular among the public.