Judge Blocks Overtime Regulation

November 23, 2016 Written by Lynsey Wilson

A Texas judge – at the behest of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and others – has granted a preliminary injunction blocking the Department of Labor’s new overtime regulation nationwide.

“We are very pleased that the court agreed with our arguments that the Obama administration’s new overtime rule was unlawful and stopped the rule from taking effect on December 1,” said Randy Johnson, senior vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in a statement.

“If the overtime rule had taken effect, it would have resulted in significant new costs – more than $1 billion according to the Congressional Budget Office – and it would have caused many disruptions in how work gets done,” Johnson added. “Furthermore, the rule would have reduced workplace flexibility, remote electronic access to work, and opportunities for career advancement. This is a great result.”

While the injunction is only a temporary measure that suspends the regulation until the judge can issue a ruling on the merits, many said the judge’s language indicated he was likely to strike down the regulation, the New York Times reported.

The Labor Department rule more than doubles the salary threshold – to $47,476 – under which employees qualify for overtime pay, regardless of their job duties.

The U.S. Chamber, leading a broad coalition or pro-business groups, filed a legal challenge to the rule in September. Oral arguments on the lawsuit were held Nov. 16 in Plano, Texas.

The Knoxville Chamber is a member of the U.S. Chamber, the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.