Texas judge blocks new overtime pay law


A federal judge in Texas on Tuesday blocked a U.S. Department of Labor rule that extends overtime pay to roughly 5 million workers nationwide. The rule had been scheduled to take effect Dec. 1, and many employers across North Texas and nationwide had changed or made plans change the way they pay workers to meet the rule's requirements. The emergency injunction may or may not permanently block the rule change, but it does block its Dec. 1 mandatory implementation.

The new rule would more than double the salary threshold for workers to qualify as exempt from overtime pay requirements. The rule would raise that threshold from $455 to $913 per week, or from $23,660 to $47,476 per year. The rule also includes a provision that automatically raises the threshold every three years.

The effect of the change would be that most businesses (and physician medical practices), governmental entities and many nonprofit organizations would be required to pay time-and-a-half for hours worked over 40 in a week by those workers making $47,476 or less per year.

On a political note, the future of the overtime rule is in flux, as President-elect Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress have vowed to reverse regulations they view as unfriendly to business.

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