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Federal Judge Pauses Overtime Rule

The Labor Department is temporarily prohibited from enforcing its expanded overtime rule, reports POLITICO Pro (subscription).  

What’s going on: “District Court Judge Sean Jordan temporarily barred DOL from enforcing the new overtime rules, finalized in April, on the grounds that the agency’s design is overly reliant on a worker’s salary level, rather than their job duties as stipulated by the Fair Labor Standards Act’s so-called ‘executive, administrative and professional exemption.’”

  • The move is in response to a lawsuit filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton last month, alleging that the expanded rule violates federal wage law.
  • The judge cited the recent Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo ruling—in which the Supreme Court put an end to federal court deference to administrative agencies in the case of some ambiguous statutes.  

But … “[T]he judge limited the ruling to just public workers in Texas, rather than issue a nationwide injunction as lawyers for state Attorney General Ken Paxton had requested.”

  • Jordan is also overseeing an overtime-rule case brought by business groups, as well as a challenge to the rule from a marketing company.

What the expansion would do: The DOL’s broadened overtime regulation—which raises the salary threshold from about $35,500 to $58,656 to determine worker overtime pay—“will complicate manufacturers’ efforts to fill the millions of jobs our industry is projected to create within a decade,” NAM Managing Vice President of Policy Chris Netram said in April.

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