Court Blocks Federal Plan to Expand Overtime Rules

Injunction indefinitely delays the new threshold from going into effect

By Beacon Staff

A federal judge in Texas has put a preliminary injunction on a new overtime rule that would have made an estimated 4 million Americans eligible for overtime pay.

The overtime rule changed in May, when President Obama signed a presidential memorandum directing the U.S. Department of Labor to update the law. The new rule was scheduled to take effect Dec. 1.

The rule effectively doubled the salary threshold for workers to qualify for overtime. The current rule grants overtime to people who gross less than $23,660 per year; the new rule increased the threshold to $47,476.

The preliminary injunction put in place by Judge Amos Mazzant means the law is delayed indefinitely.

In the Flathead, outdoors-based businesses were confused about the change and how it would apply to their organizations if they run overnight trips.

The Kalispell Chamber of Commerce and the Montana Chamber of Commerce opposed the new rule, opting to support a bill with similar goals but with incremental increases.

“If the overtime rule had taken effect Dec. 1, it would have resulted in significant new costs as well as many disruptions to how work gets done,” Webb Brown, president and CEO of the Montana Chamber, said in a prepared statement. “Furthermore, the rule would have reduced workplace flexibility, remote electronic access to work, and opportunities for career advancement.” 

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