Overtime Regulations Could be Revived on State Level

Jan. 17, 2017

Jan. 17, 2017—Legislators may attempt to replicate President Barack Obama’s federal overtime-pay overhaul at the state level, as his presidency comes to a close and Trump enters office, according to a Bloomberg report.

Legislators in Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maryland, Wisconsin and Michigan said they plan to introduce bills modeled on Obama’s reform, which would have made millions more workers eligible for overtime, according to the report.

“It’s probably not going to happen any time soon, but it’s worth a fight,” Michigan Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich, told Bloomberg.

Obama’s order has been at a standstill since November; it seeks to double the pay level under which employees are entitled to time-and-a-half, even if they’re designated as managers. The federal overtime threshold, currently $455 a week, was set to increase to $913 on Dec. 1, which the government estimated would extend protections to some 4.2 million more workers.

A federal judge in Texas granted a preliminary injunction sought by plaintiffs, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, who argued it would raise employers’ costs and could lead to layoffs.

David Weil, head of the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division, told Bloomberg that while state overtime laws could develop should the federal regulations not take effect, that could become more complicated for businesses to deal with than a nationwide threshold increase.