21 US states, including KY, sue to block expansion of overtime pay law


LAS VEGAS (AP) – A coalition of 21 states, including Kentucky is suing the U.S. Department of Labor over a new rule that would make more higher-earning workers eligible for overtime pay.

Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt filed the lawsuit in Texas on Tuesday, urging the court to block implementation before the regulation takes effect on Dec. 1.

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On March 13, 2014, President Obama ordered the Department of Labor to revise the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime exemption for executive, administrative, and professional employees — the so-called “white collar” exemption — to account for the federal minimum wage. On May 23, 2016, the Department of Labor issued the final new overtime rule. It doubles the salary-level threshold for employees to be exempt from overtime, regardless of whether if they perform executive, administrative, or professional duties. After December 1, 2016, all employees are entitled to overtime if they earn less than $913 a week — including state and local government employees.

Laxalt said the rule would burden private and public sectors and represents inappropriate federal overreach.

Governor Matt Bevin released a statement regarding Kentucky’s participation in the lawsuit, saying, “This new Obama Administration rule is another example of the federal government’s never-ending attempt to encroach upon the rights of individual states. This is a direct violation the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.  The result of this unfunded mandate by the federal government would be to force many private sector employers to lay off workers. This is not acceptable. Once again, the Obama administration is attempting to require compliance with non-legally binding edicts that should instead be decided at the state and local level. We stand united with these 21 other states in saying enough already.”

Officials from the labor department didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Other plaintiffs include Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin.


Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.