Judge shoots down Obama overtime rule

A federal judge in Texas has struck down an Obama administration rule that would have raised the salary threshold at which restaurants would have to pay employees overtime.

The Department of Labor rule would have required restaurants to pay overtime to employees earning below 47,476 per year, up from $23,660. As justification for his verdict, the judge, Obama-appointee Amos Mazzant, said that the Department of Labor wrongly built the rule around salaries instead of job descriptions.

Industry associations have praised the decision, saying the previous administration overstepped its authority. “Today’s decision to invalidate the rule demonstrates the negative impacts these regulations would have had on businesses and their workers,” said Angelo Amador, executive director of the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Law Center, in a release. “We will continue to work with DOL on behalf of the restaurant industry to ensure workable changes to the overtime rule are enacted.”

In November, Mazzant halted the rule set to be enforced Dec. 1. However, some operators had adapted to the new rule, and the NRA advised operators to continue course as if the injunction had not been granted.

Under President Trump, the DOL announced that it will rewrite the overtime rule and is once again gathering public comments about the issue. 

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