Interfaith Worker Justice statement on decision to kill Obama-era overtime rule

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Media contacts:

Ian Pajer-Rogers | 

The following statement can be attributed to Laura Barrett, Executive Director at Interfaith Worker Justice:

"Today, a Texas Federal District Judge Amos Mazzant declared invalid an Obama-era Department of Labor rule which would have expanded the threshold that determines whether working people qualify for overtime. This ruling is the result of millions of dollars spent in corporate lobbying against the rule and what seems to be an ideological opposition to government ensuring that working people are treated fairly by their employers.

"As a result, four million working people who would have become eligible for overtime had the rule been allowed to go into effect are now back to square one, effectively finding themselves victims of wage theft for every week in which they work more than 40 hours.

"The irony of this decision is that many businesses had already implemented the rule with little to no financial burden even before a preliminary injunction was issued by the same federal judge last November. Even as it became clear that the rule would be in jeopardy after the election of Donald Trump, these same corporations left the policy intact.

"Like the minimum wage, overtime pay has not kept up with inflation or the increased production of the American workforce. The expanded overtime rule was an attempt to level this playing field in the face of Congressional inaction.

"Interfaith Worker Justice hopes that President Trump will finally fulfill his campaign promise to be a champion for working people by defending this rule. We urge the president to instruct Labor Secretary Alex Acosta to use every resource at the department’s disposal to oppose today’s decision and finally implement overtime expansion."