September 24, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Las Vegas, NV – Officials from 21 states filed suit in federal court in East Texas Sept. 20, seeking to block the Department of Labor from making about 4 million salaried workers eligible for overtime pay.
The rule, scheduled to go into effect Dec. 1, would require employers to pay overtime to white-collar workers who make up to $47,476 a year, more than double the current threshold. Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt, who filed the suit, called the rule “federal overreach” that was “pushed by distant bureaucrats in D.C.” and “tramples on state and local government budgets.” Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez responded that the rule was “designed to restore the intent of the Fair Labor Standards Act”: 62% of full-time salaried workers were covered by the overtime requirement when the current threshold was set in 1975, but just 7% are today. The 20 states joining the suit include Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin. The Michigan AFL-CIO blasted state Attorney General Bill Schuette for signing on. “Bill Schuette is putting himself squarely on the side of corporate CEOs who want to continue denying overtime pay to Michigan’s working men and women,” state President Ron Bieber said in a statement. “Overtime protections have been gutted over the past four decades without a significant adjustment for inflation.” Read more