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Retailers, states file suits to stop new overtime rules

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The new overtime law set to take effect on Dec. 1 was hit with legal challenges from two fronts on Tuesday, including by retailers who believe the law could be a “career killer.”

The National Retail Federal filed suit in U.S. District Court on behalf of millions of employees and employees it says will be “drastically affected” if the U.S. Department of Labor’s changes take effect as planned.

Also, officials from 21 states filed suit in federal court in Texas to stop the new law, according to Huffington Post and other news sources.

“The Labor Department’s extreme and reckless changes to the overtime rules will hobble the career paths of millions of Americans trying to climb the professional ladder,” said David French, senior vice president for government relations for the National Retail Federation.

“Retailers are already struggling to implement this new government mandate before the swiftly approaching deadline, and the automatic update included in the rule would make them do this same dance every three years for as long as they are able to remain in business. This is a massive government overreach of executive authority, and the courts need to put a stop to it,” French said.

The NRF said research shows that the overtime regulations will force employers to limit hours or cut base pay in order to make up for the added payroll costs, leaving most workers with no increase in take-home pay despite added administrative costs. A separate survey found that the majority of retail managers and assistant managers the regulations are supposed to help oppose the plan.

Under the new law, the salary threshold under which an employee is eligible for overtime pay more than doubled, from $23,660 a year to $47,500, meaning many in supervisory and management positions would be eligible.

Illinois was not among the 21 states that joined together in the lawsuit filed in Texas.

About the Author
Paul Gordon is the editor of The Peorian after spending 29 years of indentured servitude at the Peoria Journal Star. He’s an award-winning writer, raconteur and song-and-dance man. He also went to a high school whose team name is the Alices (that’s Vincennes Lincoln High School in Indiana; you can look it up).