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Alexander: Federal Court Decision Gives President-elect Trump and Congress Opportunity to Revise Destructive “Time Card” Rule

Obama Administration’s overtime rule – which was set to take effect Dec. 1 – would have raised college tuition, cut non-profit services, and demoted millions of workers back to punching a time clock

MARYVILLE, Tenn., November 22 — Senate labor committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said that the decision today by a Texas federal judge to halt the Labor Department’s “Time Card” rule—which was set to take effect on Dec. 1—gives President-elect Trump and Congress an opportunity next year to revise the “destructive” overtime rule that “would have raised college tuition, cut non-profit services and sent the nation's workers backwards — demoting millions back to punching a time clock.”

As a result of today’s injunction, implementation of the overtime rule is halted until the judge reaches a decision based on the merits of the case, giving the incoming Republican administration and Congress the opportunity to revise this rule—which many have said is “too high, too fast”—in favor of a more reasonable, balanced approach to increasing overtime pay. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office found that eliminating the overtime rule would result in an increase in real family income by about $260 million in late 2016, $2.1 billion in 2017, and $1 billion to $1.7 billion in later years. Businesses would have had to increase the costs of goods and services to comply with the new rule.

“Today’s federal court decision to stop the Labor Department’s harmful overtime rule in its tracks has America’s students, non-profits, and workers breathing a sigh of relief,” said Senator Alexander. “I’ve heard from people all over Tennessee who had a great deal of concern about rising college tuition costs, fewer non-profit services, and diminished workplace flexibility – so this is a massive victory for them and for the more than 1,200 individuals and organizations — from mental health treatment providers to Christmas tree farms —who wrote to me because they feared this rule’s implementation on December 1.”

In 2015, the Department of Labor released a proposal to increase the salary threshold under which employees qualify for overtime pay. The department’s final rule more than doubled that salary threshold – from $23,660 to $47,476 – with just 6 months’ notice, and would have resulted in students facing higher tuition costs and workers having less flexibility and opportunity for advancement in the workplace.

More than 400 organizations — from universities to social services agencies — have written to Senator Alexander in support of his bipartisan legislation to change the timeline for implementation of the Administration’s overtime rule, and he has received nearly 800 letters to date from individuals expressing their opposition to the administration’s rule.


For access to this release and Chairman Alexander’s other statements, click here.