Federal Judge Amos Mazzant issued a preliminary injunction Tuesday halting the FLSA overtime rule that was to go into effect December 1. A lawsuit representing 21 states and employer groups was filed in Texas challenging the requirement that workers earning less than $47,476 a year would be eligible for time-and a-half overtime pay. The current threshold for overtime eligibility is $23,660 set in 2004.
Under the duties test, an employee is exempt from overtime pay if he or she earns wages in excess of the salary threshold and has duties that are administrative, executive or professional.
Judge Mazzant cited wording in the rule that would automatically increase the threshold every three years.
The Justice Department said in a written statement that it was "reviewing the court's opinion and order and considering any next steps."
“We strongly disagree with the decision by the court, which has the effect of delaying a fair day’s pay for a long day’s work for millions of hardworking Americans,” the agency said in a statement.
Although the injunction is only temporary, Mazzant's decision signaled a strong likelihood that he'll eventually side with 21 state attorneys general and a coalition of business groups that sued to block the regulation.