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Texas Sues to Block DOL Overtime Rule

Texas has filed suit in an effort to vacate a Biden administration regulation that would make millions more workers eligible for overtime pay (Reuters, subscription).

What’s going on: “Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in a complaint filed in Sherman, Texas, federal court on Monday said the rule violates federal wage law by basing eligibility for overtime on how much workers are paid rather than the duties they perform.”

  • The expanded rule, released by the Department of Labor in late April, violates states’ constitutional right to structure the pay of state employees and thus how to allocate their budgets, Texas said.
  • Attorneys for the Lone Star State added that the regulation—which the department has said would make about 4 million additional workers eligible for overtime pay—will force states to “eliminate or alter employment relationships and cut or reduce services and programs.”
  • Also on Monday in Texas, software company Flint Avenue filed a suit saying “the rule is arbitrary and capricious, and that the DOL lacked the authority to issue the change” (Bloomberg Law, subscription).

What it would do: The expanded rule drastically bumps up the salary threshold for determining a worker’s overtime pay eligibility.

  • Under it, starting in 2025, most employees making less than $58,656 will be owed time-and-a-half wages when they work more than 40 hours in a single workweek (Bloomberg Law, subscription).
  • The current threshold is about $35,500.

Why it’s important: The new overtime rule “places new constraints on employers, reduces flexibility for the workers who will be reclassified and may force companies to make painful choices that limit both job creation and growth opportunities available to employees,” NAM Managing Vice President of Policy Chris Netram said in April.

  • “This … regulatory hurdle will complicate manufacturers’ efforts to fill the millions of jobs our industry is projected to create within a decade.”
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