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Chamber of Commerce “pleased” that overtime pay hike blocked for 4 million Americans


This news story was published on November 23, 2016.
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Robin Anderson and Julie Valencia, associated with the Mason City Chamber of Commerce

Robin Anderson and Julie Valencia, associated with the Mason City Chamber of Commerce

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Roughly 4 million Americans will have less money in their pockets after a federal judge approved a preliminary injunction blocking an Obama administration rule that would have extended overtime pay to them, and the Chamber of Commerce is pleased about it.

Congress enacted the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) in 1938. The FLSA requires that employees engaged in commerce receive not less than the federal minimum wage (currently, $7.25 per hour) for all hours worked. Employees are also entitled to overtime pay at one and one-half times the employee’s regular rate of pay for all hours worked above forty in a week.

On March 23, 2014, President Obama issued a memorandum directing the Secretary of Labor to “modernize and streamline the existing overtime regulations for executive, administrative, and professional employees.”

Effective December 1, 2016, the Final Rule will increase the minimum salary level for exempt employees from $455 per week ($23,660 annually) to $921 per week ($47,892 annually). The new salary level is based upon the 40th percentile of weekly earnings of full-time salaried workers in the lowest wage region of the country, which is currently the South. The Final Rule also establishes an automatic updating mechanism that adjusts the minimum salary level every three years. The first automatic increase will occur on January 1, 2020.

The State Plaintiffs filed suit against the Department, the Wage and Hour Division of the Department, and their agents (collectively, “Defendants”) challenging the Final Rule.

The Plano, Texas Chamber of Commerce and over fifty other business organizations (the “Business Plaintiffs”) challenged the Final Rule. On October 14, 2016, the Business Plaintiffs moved for expedited summary judgment. The Court consolidated the Business Plaintiffs’ action with the State Plaintiffs’ action on the unopposed motion from the Business Plaintiffs.

On November 16, 2016, the Court held a preliminary injunction hearing to consider oral argument regarding the State Plaintiffs’ motion. The Court has authority to enjoin the Final Rule on a nationwide basis and decided that it is appropriate in this case, and therefore granted the State Plaintiffs’ Emergency Motion for Preliminary Injunction.

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U.S. Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President of Labor, Immigration, and Employee Benefits Randy Johnson issued the following statement regarding the decision by the district court in Sherman, Texas to grant a preliminary injunction blocking the Department of Labor’s (DOL) 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 rule from taking effect on December 1. 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. Furthermore, the rule would have reduced workplace flexibility, remote electronic access to work, and opportunities for career advancement. This is a great result.”

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation and a lobbying organization that has supported the tobacco industry.

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8 Responses to Chamber of Commerce “pleased” that overtime pay hike blocked for 4 million Americans

  1. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    November 25, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    That great! Employers who ride on the back of employees and live in million dollar homes,and pay their employees under $12.00 an hour your business will fail because your employees feel loyalty should go both ways.This just proves no one stands for the employees any more.And people think Trump will.Where was at least one employee who worked for Trump who said he was a great employer.

  2. Allen

    Allen Reply Report comment

    November 23, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    Just wondering, who are the 4 million that got overtime pay blocked.
    (executive, administrative, and professional employees) (exempt employees) Just who are they.

  3. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    November 23, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    This obammmma/demorat bill would have done nothing for the private sector except shift more jobs to part time – AS FOR the PUBIC SERVANTS – a $48.000.00 per year minimum wage – 2 million government workers already – they outnumber manufacturing jobs in the US by 2 to 1 – yes 2 government workers for every manufacturing job in the private sector. They Hired 55,000 new government workers for obummercare alone. Save America – get rid of big government.

    • Anonymous...... Reply Report comment

      November 23, 2016 at 2:06 pm

      I work for a private company that just implemented this so it does effect private businesses. Any full-time exempt employee in our company not making at least $47,800 a year just got a pay raise to $47,900 a year effective December 1st. My company did not move anyone to part time in fact they raised the hourly rate of our part time hourly employees to reflect the new exempt minimum of the full timers.

  4. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    November 23, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    One more unlawful rule by the most lawless administration ever. This is the reason we have a congress that is supposed to make the laws and rules. It keeps people like Obama from becoming dictators like they want to be.

    • a turd by any other name Reply Report comment

      November 25, 2016 at 6:56 am

      and how do you justify people making less than 47,800 a year to have to work over 40 hours a week with NO COMPENSATION? Who is getting the short end of the stick? Today if someone makes just under $23/hour AND is exempt, they are required by their employers to work however long they are told with no extra compensation.

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        November 25, 2016 at 7:20 am

        They took the job knowing the rules and were glad to get it. If you don’t like the job go find another one if you are qualified. Most are management jobs and they get other perks that offset the loss of overtime pay. If a employer doesn’t do that they should lose their employees and then they will voluntarily give the pay or go under. It is called free market instead of corporate welfare.