United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas Issues Preliminary Injunction to the Unlawful Department of Labor Overtime Rule
ATLANTA, GA – Last night, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas issued a preliminary injunction to the unlawful Department of Labor Overtime Rule, blocking the new regulation nationwide. Consequently, employers will not be required to meet the December 1, 2016 deadline for complying with the proposed rules.
“I commend the court’s preliminary injunction,” said Attorney General Chris Carr. “The overtime rule is the latest example of the States stepping in to stop the Obama administration from defying Congress and implementing its own agenda rather than following the law. This unlawful overreach has undoubtedly put a strain on businesses and state government entities to prepare for its implementation, so our office will continue to provide guidance and support to our clients in accordance with the federal court order.”
On March 13, 2014, without Congressional authorization, President Obama ordered the Department of Labor to change the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime exemption for executive, administrative, and professional employees—the so-called “white collar” exemption—to base that exemption on salary level rather than job duties. On May 23, 2016, the Department of Labor issued the final new overtime rule. It doubles the salary-level threshold for employees to be exempt from overtime, regardless of whether they perform executive, administrative or professional duties. Additionally, the new rule contains a ratcheting mechanism to automatically increase the salary-level every three years without going through the standard rule-making process required by federal law.
For those reasons, the Georgia Attorney General’s Office joined a coalition of 21 states challenging the United States Department of Labor’s new overtime rule in federal court. The lawsuit includes the following states: Georgia, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin.
In granting the injunction, U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant admonished: “the Final Rule . . . is contrary to the statutory text and Congress’s intent” and “Congress, and not the Department, should make that change.”
The court’s preliminary injunction is attached.