On Tuesday, Judge Amos Mazzant of the Eastern District of Texas issued an injunction against a new Department of Labor rule that would raise the overtime salary threshold from $23,660 to $47,476 per year. The rule was set to take effect December 1, 2016.
The injunction against the overtime rule shuts millions of working families out of a raise. According to the Obama administration, the new rule would extend overtime protections to 4.2 million workers. The Economic Policy Institute estimates that the new rule will directly benefit 12.5 million people because it would strengthen overtime protections for other workers covered by the rule.
The injunction is a victory for big business. The lawsuit culminating in this week’s injunction was led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and is the most recent assault by the big business lobby against boosting worker wages and strengthening worker protections.
By rejecting the salary threshold, Judge Mazzant’s interpretation of overtime protections would make it much easier for employers to classify salaried workers as exempt from overtime pay even if these workers spend very little of their time performing the “executive, administrative, and professional” duties that are supposed to exempt these employees from overtime pay.