Industry lauds injunction delaying overtime rule

by Jeff Gelski
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Overtime time sheet
Both the A.B.A. and N.R.A. say the new overtime rule would impact business negatively.

WASHINGTON — Both the American Bakers Association and the National Restaurant Association have praised a preliminary injunction that delays the implementation of the U.S. Department of Labor’s new overtime rule.

The rule, published on May 23 and scheduled to go into effect Dec. 1, raised the minimum salary level for exempt employees to $47,476 annually from $23,660 annually, making more U.S. workers eligible for overtime pay. The preliminary injunction was issued Nov. 22 in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas. The preliminary injunction may be found here.

The Washington-based A.B.A. said raising the minimum salary level would “cost bakers millions, reduce workplace flexibility and workplace advancement opportunities.”

The Washington-based N.R.A. is cautiously optimistic about the preliminary injunction, said Cicely Simpson, executive vice-president of government affairs and policy at the N.R.A.

Cicely Simpson, National Restaurant Association
Cicely Simpson, executive vice-president of government affairs and policy at the N.R.A.

“This was a critical step in what we hope will be a positive outcome in the case against the Department of Labor,” she said.

The N.R.A. pointed out the injunction does not delay the overtime rule indefinitely and that a final decision by the court could result in the rule taking effect.

“The National Restaurant Association is continuing to urge Congress to pass legislation that would modify or delay the rule’s Dec. 1 implementation date,” the N.R.A. said. “This rule is too much, too soon, and it will have a far-reaching negative impact on the country’s second largest private sector industry and the millions of workers who work in our nation’s more than 1 million restaurants.”

The A.B.A. said the rule could be brought back in some form but probably not until President-elect Donald J. Trump takes office in January, which would give bakers an opportunity to work with a Department of Labor led by the new administration.

“A.B.A. will continue working with Congress and the new administration to ensure that a responsible minimum requirement is achieved,” the A.B.A. said. 
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