Yesterday, a U.S. district judge appointed by President Obama blocked the Department of Labor’s overtime pay rule that would have mandated overtime pay for more than four million private-sector jobs beginning on December 1.
Back in September, Maine joined 20 other states and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in filing a federal court complaint challenging the United States Department of Labor’s new rule that would have doubled the threshold for salaried employees to receive overtime from $23,660 ($455/week) to $47,486 ($913/week).
But yesterday, in a 20-page ruling, U.S. Judge Amos Mazzant of Sherman, Texas, determined that the rule was an unlawful overreach because the change was made “without statutory authority” through an executive order, completely bypassing any public comment or Congressional oversight. According to the ruling, the Department of Labor, and the unelected bureaucrats within it, do not have the authority to determine overtime eligibility based on salary levels alone.
Had this new rule taken effect, it would have impacted nearly every sector of the U.S. economy, harming businesses and employees across the country.
According to the Department of Labor spokesperson Jason Surbey, the Department “strongly disagrees” with the ruling, they are confident that the rule is legal and are “considering all of [DOL’s] legal options.”
Although the Department of Labor can appeal the decision to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, that court is unlikely to overturn the ruling. It’s also unlikely that the Labor Department would appeal the decision once President-elect Trump takes office in January.