Society

Obama-Appointed Judge Blocks Obama-Approved Labor Rule

| by Ray Brown

A federal judge appointed by President Barack Obama blocked a rule the president promoted that would have increased overtime pay for approximately 4 million low-paid workers.

Judge Amos L. Mazzant III of the Eastern District of Texas, who was appointed to the federal bench by Obama in 2014, struck down a rule scheduled to go into effect Dec. 1 that would have raised the salary limit in which salaried workers automatically qualified for overtime pay from $23,660 to $47,476, according to The New York Times.

Mazzant said the Obama administration didn't have the legal authority to raise the overtime salary limit so significantly.

The Department of Labor vowed to challenge the rule.

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Ross Eisenbrey of the Economic Policy Institute, which supported the rule, said the court's ruling was "extreme and unsupportable," reported Reuters.

Mazzant's striking down of the overtime increase rule might mean one less task on the to-do list for the incoming President-elect Donald Trump administration.

According to Politico, getting rid of the overtime rule was a major goal for the new leadership.

“We have heard over the past year that it would have truly dramatically bad effects, not just on employers but on employees across the country,” said Republican Rep. Bradley Byrne of Alabama.

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But Eisenbrey said that denying overtime pay to millions of low-paid salary-earners is a disappointment to those “who are forced to work long hours with no extra compensation, and is a blow to those Americans who care deeply about raising wages and lessening inequality.”

Sources: Reuters, The New York Times, Politico / Photo credit: U.S. Department of State/Flickr

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