December 22, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Austin, TX – Fearing that the incoming Trump administration will drop the Department of Labor’s appeal of a federal-court decision blocking regulations expanding overtime pay, the Texas AFL-CIO has asked to intervene in the case.
The new rule would have required employers to pay overtime to salaried workers who make less than $47,476 a year if they work more than 40 hours in a week—double the previous threshold, which had not been raised since 1979—but District Judge Amos Mazzant issued a preliminary injunction Nov. 22 preventing it from going into effect. Mazzant held that the department did not have the right to set such a threshold for supervisory and professional workers. “It is now clear that the next designated Secretary of Labor will join the leadership of Texas in opposition to giving salaried workers a fair deal in the workplace,” Texas AFL-CIO President John Patrick said in a statement Dec. 9. “But we believe the very notion of decent wages for decent work is in play. We cannot allow the federal court ruling that set aside the overtime rule to stand without challenge.” The Texas AFL-CIO, which includes 650 local unions with 237,000 members, would have to prove it has legal standing to appeal Judge Mazzant’s ruling. Read more