Overtime pay rule struck down again

Tribune Chronicle

A Texas court Thursday formally struck down the planned expansion of the federal overtime rule, which would have allowed salaried employees earning up to $47,476 a year to receive overtime pay for hours worked over 40 per week.

A ruling by the same court had prevented the rule, proposed by the Obama administration, from going into effect last fall.

The ruling will affect about 130,000 Ohioans, according to U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio.

Texas District Court Judge Amos Mazzant said the U.S. Department of Labor lacked the authority to set a salary threshold so high that it would “effectively eliminate” other requirements for when a worker is eligible for overtime, such as what duties they perform, according to media reports.

“The department has exceeded its authority and gone too far with the final rule. The department creates a final rule that makes overtime status depend predominately on a minimum salary level, thereby supplanting an analysis of an employee’s job duties. Because the final rule would exclude so many employees who perform exempt duties, the department fails to carry out Congress’s unambiguous intent,” Mazzant said in his ruling.

Brown, on Thursday, blasted the ruling.

“Overtime pay has been out of date for years, and it’s past time workers’ paychecks reflect the hours they work,” he said.

Brown and former Vice President Joe Biden made the original announcement about the change in May 2016 in Columbus. The existing salaried employee overtime threshold calls for overtime to be paid to workers earning less than $23,660 annually. Thursday’s ruling means the $23,660 threshold remains in effect.