Oklahoma AG applauds overtime ruling injunction

Oklahoma officials are applauding a decision by a federal judge in Texas to grant a nationwide preliminary injunction against the U.S. Department of Labor’s new overtime rule.

“This decision is a victory for state and local governments as well as businesses in Oklahoma and across the country,” said Oklahoma Attorney General Pruitt. “The rule would result in hours reduced, salaries slashed and and jobs lost – now, this injunction provides certainty to Oklahoma employees and stability for their families.

“It has been a theme of this administration to ‘pinch-hit’ for Congress, and time-and-time again the Courts have sided with the states to uphold the rule of law. It comes as no surprise the judge came to this conclusion with yet another unlawful rule.”

If implemented, the new rule would have more than doubled the minimum salary overtime threshold for public and private workers without Congressional authorization. The impact for businesses and state and local governments would have been a substantial increase in their employment costs, which could force them to eliminate some services and even lay off employees. This injunction prevents the unlawful rule from taking effect on the scheduled December 1st date, Pruitt said.

State Rep. Charles Ortega said the action by the federal judge in the Eastern District of Texas for a preliminary injunction could significantly impact small businesses.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s release of the new “Overtime Rule” would nearly double the minimum salary threshold to exempt an employee from overtime pay. The rule would increase the standard salary level from $455 per week ($23,660 for a full-year worker) to $913 per week ($47,476 for a full-year worker). The rule would also require the threshold to automatically update every three years, based on wage growth.

“Like nearly all small business owners, I am very grateful that this injunction was issued so we can continue to work toward blocking it permanently,” said Ortega. “This rule is another example of federal overreach by bureaucrats who simply do not understand how incentives work. The rule will cost small businesses thousands of dollars to comply with and will force many businesses to close. Others will simply pass those costs on to customers by raising prices for goods and services. These regulations only hurt our economy and end up costing consumers more money. I am very thankful for the efforts of Attorney General Scott Pruitt in joining other states to fight back against this overeach and protect small business owners and consumers.”