A federal judge issued a major setback to President Barack Obama on Tuesday, striking down controversial Labor Department overtime rule to extend overtime pay to approximately 4 million workers.
The Obama backed overtime pay extension was set to go into effect on December 1. U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant issued a preliminary injunction after finding the states were likely to succeed on the merits of the case and would be irreparably harmed if the injunction was not ordered.
“[T]he Department exceeds its delegated authority and ignores Congress’s intent by raising the minimum salary level such that it supplants the duties test,” the judge wrote in his order. “The Department’s role is to carry out Congress’s intent. If Congress intended the salary requirement to supplant the duties test, then Congress, and not the Department, should make that change.”
The controversial law would have required employers to pay overtime to salaried workers making less than $47,476 annually. Current law requires overtime payments to salaried workers making no more than approximately $23,000.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton released the following statement after receiving word of the ruling:
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.
[image via screengrab]