Despite efforts by the Obama administration, the new overtime rule that would have expanded eligibility to nearly four million Americans has been blocked a federal judge. The law, which would have required employers to pay time-and-a-half to their employees who worked more than 40 hours in a week and earned less than $47,476 annually, was set to take effect on Dec. 1.
According to NPR, U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant III was responsible for issuing the preliminary injunction in the case after siding with plaintiffs who believed the new rule would’ve caused government costs in their respective states to increase and require businesses to pay millions in increased salaries. Many business groups believed the jolt to their incomes would have eventually led to layoffs in staff.
“The rule was one of the administration’s most far-reaching efforts to boost pay for workers at the lower end of the income ladder,” NPR’s White House Correspondent Scott Horsley said. “It’s one of many administrative actions that was already facing the threat of reversal from the incoming Trump administration.”
The overtime rule’s future remains to be seen as the Trump administration is set to take office in less than two months, not to mention Republicans in control of both houses in Congress. The Department of Labor, however, found the new overtime rule to be fair and issued this statement in response to the injunction:
“We strongly disagree with the decision by the court, which has the effect of delaying a fair day’s pay for a long day’s work for millions of hardworking Americans. The department’s overtime rule is the result of a comprehensive, inclusive rulemaking process, and we remain confident in the legality of all aspects of the rule. We are currently considering all of our legal options.”