WASHINGTON — On Tuesday, a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction halting the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) controversial Overtime Rule from taking effect nationwide on Dec. 1. NLBMDA applauds the prudent action taken by Judge Amos Mazzant of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. The temporary injunction means that the rule will not go into effect until the case is resolved or the injunction is lifted by the judge. As a result, the ruling delays the December 1 implementation from taking place as planned next week. The DOL will likely appeal the injunction. Currently there is no timeline for the case to move forward.
The emergency motion for a preliminary injunction was filed on October 12 by 21 states on the grounds that the DOL exceeded its authority by raising the salary threshold too much and providing automatic updates to the threshold without stakeholder input. The states’ case against DOL has been consolidated with another lawsuit brought by 50 business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and National Association of Manufacturers, which raised similar objections to the rule.
“Due to the approaching effective date of the Final Rule, the Court’s ability to render a meaningful decision on the merits is in jeopardy,” wrote Judge Mazzant. “A preliminary injunction preserves the status quo while the Court determines the department’s authority to make the Final Rule as well as the Final Rule’s validity.”
As part of the final rule, the salary level under which employees qualify for overtime pay would have increased from $455 per week ($23,360 annually) to an estimated $913 per week ($47,476 annually). In addition, the rule would have provided for automatic updates to the threshold every three years without seeking public comment.
Earlier this year, NLBMDA met with the White House’s Office of Management Budget (OMB) Office of Information of Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) stating that proposed changes in the number of employees eligible for overtime pay failed to consider regional differences. NLBMDA, through its participation in the Partnership to Protect Workplace Opportunity, has continued meeting with lawmakers seeking a legislative solution to the regulation.
“NLBMDA welcomes the preliminary injunction to DOL’s Overtime Rule,” said Jonathan Paine, NLBMDA President and CEO. “The rule in its current form would have had many unintended consequences reducing flexibility and advancement opportunities for employees.”