Texas judge strikes down Obama overtime rule

Texas judge strikes down Obama overtime rule
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A federal judge in Texas has struck down a rule from the Department of Labor that would have extended overtime pay to more than 4 million workers, effectively erasing one of former President Obama's biggest regulatory initiatives.

In the ruling, first reported by Bloomberg BNA, the judge wrote that the agency improperly looked at salaries instead of job descriptions when determining whether a worker should be eligible for overtime pay.

The judge, Obama-appointee Amos Mazzant, initially put the rule on hold last November. It was set to go into place on Dec. 1.

The rule would have required employers to pay overtime to most salaried workers who earn less than $47,476 annually, a sharp increase from the current annual salary limit of $23,660.

The judge's ruling was celebrated by industry groups, including the Restaurant Law Center, which represents the restaurant industry. In a statement to The Hill, the group said the Obama administration "overstepped its authority."

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“The Department of Labor under the previous administration overstepped its authority in making changes to the federal overtime rule. Today’s decision to invalidate the rule demonstrates the negative impacts these regulations would have had on businesses and their workers. We will continue to work with [the Department of Labor] on behalf of the restaurant industry to ensure workable changes to the overtime rule are enacted," the group said in a statement.

In August 2016, then-Republican presidential candidate Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpDems win from coast to coast Falwell after Gillespie loss: 'DC should annex' Northern Virginia Dems see gains in Virginia's House of Delegates MORE vowed he would target Obama's overtime rules as president.

“Rolling back the overtime regulation is just one example of the many regulations that need to be addressed to do that,” Trump told Circa at the time. “We would love to see a delay or a carve-out of sorts for our small business owners."

The initial block on the rule last year was celebrated by manufacturers and business groups, who called the Obama-era regulation anti-business.

“Today’s decision is an important win for all manufacturers in America — halting what would have been a dramatic and devastating change in labor law that manufacturers could not afford,” said Linda Kelly, general counsel for the National Association of Manufacturers in November.