Department of Labor files notice of appeal in overtime suit

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The Obama administration on Thursday filed a notice of appeal at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas to challenge a federal judge’s ruling that halted the Dec. 1 implementation of sweeping overtime regulations.

The overtime regulations — which would have affected more than 4.2 million workers — was to raise the overtime eligibility threshold to $47,476 a year from $23,660 a year, but businesses and other officials have argued the regulations will force employers to demote salaried workers to hourly positions.

U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant III granted the preliminary injunction on Nov. 22 after assessing lawsuits made by 21 states and small business groups that argued the rule was “overly burdensome.”

Although a spokesman at the Department of Labor was not available for comment, the DOL issued a statement following the ruling:

“The Department strongly disagrees with the decision by the court, which has the effect of delaying a fair day’s pay for a long day’s work for millions of hardworking Americans. The Department’s Overtime Final Rule is the result of a comprehensive, inclusive rule-making process, and we remain confident in the legality of all aspects of the rule. We are currently considering all of our legal options.”

Some industry experts say that whether the appeal is successful or not, they expect that President-elect Donald Trump and his administration ultimately will dump the rule altogether.

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Overtime rule Employment and benefit-related legislation Law and regulation DoL