A federal judge in Texas issued a nationwide temporary injunction on Tuesday against an Barack Obama administration rule to extend mandatory overtime pay to more than 4.2 million salaried workers
Scheduled to take effect on Dec. 1., the regulation would raise the salary limit below which workers automatically qualified for overtime pay to $47,476 from $23,660. If implemented, the new rule would have more than doubled the minimum salary threshold to pay overtime for public and private workers, without Congressional authorization — marking the first significant change in four decades.
The judge, Amos L. Mazzant III of the Eastern District of Texas, agreed with 21 states, including Alabama, that the rule is unlawful and the Obama administration had exceeded its authority by raising the overtime salary limit so significantly. In his decision, Mazzant argued the rule was imposed “without statutory authority”.
Here’s what Alabama officials think of Mazzant’s decision:
Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange:
Another unlawful Obama administration expansion of authority has been met by a federal court roadblock,” said Attorney General Luther Strange. “The granting of a nationwide preliminary injunction of the new federal overtime rule, just days before its implementation, ensures that cash-strapped state and local governments will not be forced to lay off employees or cut vital services to the public in order to meet this costly federal mandate. I am pleased the federal court granted the motion by Alabama and 20 other states to block the new Obama administration overtime rule and protect many public and private sector jobs.
U.S. Senator Richard Shelby:
I have heard from Alabamians all across the state about the harmful impacts that the Obama Administration’s overtime rule would have on small businesses, non-profits, universities, and employees alike. Americans spoke loud and clear about their frustration with these types of unilateral executive regulations that stifle economic growth and opportunity. Yesterday’s ruling is a victory for the American people, and I look forward to working with President-elect Trump and my Republican colleagues to reverse this and other job-destroying rules in the coming months.
Alabama 1st District U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne:
This rule was never what the Obama Administration wanted people to believe it was. Instead, the rule would have hurt American workers by moving them from salaried to hourly employees and greatly reducing opportunities for advancement. The rule would have been especially damaging for schools and non-profits, who couldn’t just increase costs to offset the added expenses. I appreciate Judge Mazzant’s decision and look forward to working with the Trump Administration to pursue policies that actually benefit American workers.
Alabama 2nd District U.S. Rep. Martha Roby:
This decision is a conservative victory for the 21 states and dozens of business groups who challenged that this new rule handed down by President Obama’s Department of Labor would increase government costs while costing private employers millions of dollars.
We all want incomes to rise, but top-down government mandates that ultimately cost workers are not the way to make it happen. We need 21st century workforce policies that offer workers choices and flexibility, and we need to enact them properly through Congress. I’m pleased that the courts have once again rejected the Obama Administration’s attempt to circumvent Congress and legislate by executive fiat. This decision and others like it will help return our country to constitutional order.
The law was set to take effect Dec. 1.
Alabama and 20 other states joined the suit, saying the law would significantly increase employment costs.