Federal judge strikes down Obama overtime rule
by Evan Wilt
Posted 9/01/17, 11:13 am
A federal judge in Texas has nullified a U.S. Department of Labor rule that would have granted automatic overtime pay to an additional 4 million U.S. workers, a key regulatory priority for former President Barack Obama. U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant ruled Thursday the Labor Department exceeded its authority to automatically grant time-and-a-half pay for salaried workers earning less than $47,476 per year. Mazzant said the rule wrongly focused too heavily on hours worked instead of job duties. The Obama administration hailed the rule as a way to boost wage stagnation. Since 2004, the Labor Department only granted automatic overtime pay for salaried workers earning less than $23,600 per year. The same judge temporarily blocked the Obama-era rule from going into effect last year after business groups sued the Labor Department. Thursday’s ruling provides the final nail in the coffin. President Donald Trump now has his own opportunity to enact new overtime pay regulations. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta has already started listening sessions and data collection in preparation for writing a new overtime rule. During his confirmation hearing in April, Acosta said he’s interested in raising the salary threshold for overtime pay—but not as high as Obama ordered.
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Evan is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Washington, D.C.