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The New York Times this morning reports that a federal judge, Amos L. Mazzant III of the Eastern District of Texas has ruled that the Obama administration's Department of Labor "exceeded its authority" when it expanded "by millions the number of workers who would be eligible for time-and-a-half overtime pay," raising the salary limit to salary limit below which workers automatically qualified for overtime pay to $47,476 from $23,660.

Mazzant issued a nationwide temporary injunction preventing implementation of the rule, and the Times writes that it seems likely that he will strike down the rule permanently once he has considered the case on its merits.

As it happens, Mazzant is an Obama administration appointee.

The Times writes that the Department of Labor responded to the ruling by saying it "strongly disagreed” and was considering an appeal, though it would have to move quickly since there are less than two months left in the Obama administration before Donald Trump in inaugurated. It seems unlikely that a Trump administration would defend the overtime increase rule.

And the Times notes that the injunction "was hailed by business groups who argued the new rules would be costly and result in fewer hours for workers."
KC's View:
Beyond the appropriateness of the rule as a Labor Department dictate, I actually think that this shows how the system is supposed to work. The administration appoints judges who bring an independent eye to cases, even to the point that they contradict - based on their reading of the law - the very administration that appointed them.

As for the rule itself ... I'm not sure what the number should be, but it does occur to me that the previous $23,660 ceiling is just three grand higher than the national poverty level for a three-person household. My point being that $23,660 doesn't go very far these days, and that when people have to work overtime for that sort of salary without any extra pay, it doesn't seem very fair, and certainly creates an environment in which employers can exploit employees. As to whether the Labor Department should be making such changes ... well, I guess this a decision up to the courts.