Federal judge says ‘Overtime Pay Rule’ is unconstitutional

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KIMT News 3- A labor regulation pushed through by the Obama Administration was put to a halt Tuesday after a federal judge called for a temporary injunction, stating the regulation was unconstitutional.

President Obama signed a Presidential Memorandum in 2014 directing the Department of Labor to look in to the current Overtime Pay rule. The Department recommended to more than double the current salary for those who can earn overtime from around $23,000 to over $47,000, which would impact around 4 million Americans and force small business owner and employers to find solutions.

“When the rule that instituted to be effective December 1 almost all entities, including ourselves, had to take a look at what the impact would be to organizations,” says Perry Buffington, the Mason City City Human Resources Director.

Buffington says the city only had 5 employees that were impacted, but they approached the situation similarly to any other business.

“We dealt with those in different ways depending on the President’s position,” he says “In some cases salaries were elevated slightly. In others they will be classified as non-exempt.”

Other local business such as hotels and restaurants felt the impact in greater force.

“The small business owners, whether it’s a restaurant or retail business, they’re going to be probably pretty happy with this decision,” says Bennett Smith, KIMT News 3’s Political Analyst.

“It will not raise their cost of doing business much and give them more flexibility in how they schedule the workforce.”

Smith says both parties should have come together to find a compromise with the President’s order in mind.

“One of the issues here is going to be the constitutional question that comes, the executive overreach,” he says. “Did the Obama Administration go too far in both how much they’re raising the threshold for less than 23,000 to 46,000+ and the automatic increases that were part of the deal, that’s one of the issues that the judge’s injunction mentioned”

Though the halt is not permanent, Buffington says they will just wait and see what happens.

“Everything’s on hold at this point,” he says. “The direction or moving forward is yet to be seen; it may go back to Congress and may be something that gets addressed in other ways.”

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