(TNS) — A Texas judge has blocked new federal overtime rules that would have made more workers eligible for overtime pay.
The Obama administration announced the changes to the Federal Labor Standards Act in May. The rules were set to go into effect Dec. 1.
The rules raised the amount salaried employees have to earn before they are exempt from the overtime pay rules. Right now, salaried employees earning more than $455 per week ($23,660 per year) are not eligible for overtime. Under the new rules, salaried employees would have to earn more than $913 per week ($47,476 per year) before employers could deny them overtime pay.
Texas and several other states sued to block the changes, questioning whether the Department of Labor had the authority to raise the salary threshold.
Judge Amos L. Mazzant, III, of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in Sherman,heard the case. During arguments, he had called the rule change "radical" and "drastic."
After obtaining the injunction, Attorney General Paxton released a statement saying:
"The Obama administration proved true to form when it ordered the Department of Labor to revise its interpretation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Namely, the administration assumes that through force of will alone, it could order a new economic reality into existence. The finalized overtime rule hurts the American worker. It limits workplace flexibility without a corresponding increase in pay and forces employers to cut their workers hours. All in all, it exchanges the advantages of negotiated benefits, personal to each worker, with a one-size-fits-all standard that only looks good in press statements. Not on my watch."
In granting the injunction, U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant admonished: "the Final Rule . . . is contrary to the statutory text and Congress's intent" and "Congress, and not the Department, should make that change."