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September 22, 2016

Georgia joins 21 state lawsuit challenging federal overtime rule

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Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens this week announced that Georgia joined a coalition of 21 states challenging the new U.S. Department of Labor overtime rule.  In March, the Obama Administration instructed the USDOL to revise the Fair Labor Standards Act.  The rule, set to take effect December 1, requires employers to pay overtime to salaried workers earning less than $47,500 a year, double the current threshold of $23,660.   The suit filed by the attorneys general in federal court contents the new rule circumvents congressional authority and violates states' rights.

"The United States Department of Labor’s new overtime rule is yet another example of the President’s unconstitutional overreach...Our nation’s laws, the separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches must be followed.” - Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups filed a separate legal challenge in the same federal court.  Their lawsuit contends that the USDOL exceeded its statutory authority and violated the administrative Procedure Act.

“The DOL went too far in the new overtime regulation. We have heard from our members, small businesses, nonprofits, and other employers that the salary threshold is going to result in significant new labor costs and cause many disruptions in how work gets done. Furthermore, the automatic escalator provision means that employers will have to go through their reclassification analysis every three years. In combination, the new overtime rule will result in salaried professional employees being converted to hourly wages, and it will reduce workplace flexibility, remote electronic access to work, and opportunities for career advancement." said Randy Johnson, senior vice president of Labor, Immigration, and Employee Benefits for the U.S. Chamber.

States that joined the lawsuit include Georgia, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin.