Statement | Overtime

News from EPI DOL overtime appeal is welcome news; department should make no attempts to weaken the rule

Last year, the Department of Labor updated the overtime pay rule, raising the threshold under which most salaried workers were guaranteed time-and-a-half for working more than 40 hours in a week from $23,660 to $47,476. This updated rule extended overtime eligibility to 4.9 million more working people and would have made it harder for employers to deny overtime to another 7.6 million working people who are already eligible.

On August 31, 2017, a district court judge in Texas declared—in a case brought by business interests—that the rule was invalid. It’s been reported that DOL will indeed appeal the judge’s order, to allow the department to consider a new rule.

While the reports that the department is appealing Judge Mazzant’s flawed ruling are welcome news, Labor Department officials have continually indicated that they would prefer a lower salary threshold. To be perfectly clear, any move by the Trump administration to lower the overtime salary threshold beneath the level set in 2016 is a direct attack on the hard-earned wages of working people. The overtime rule update was a crucial, long overdue move to raise wages for middle-class workers. DOL should vigorously defend the 2016 threshold and not attempt to undermine it through the regulatory process.

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