Contacts: John Patrick, Rick Levy or Ed Sills,
(512)477-6195; Levy cell=(512)922-6506;
Sills cell =(512)695-1148
The Texas AFL-CIO today intervened in a federal lawsuit challenging the Labor Department’s overtime rule, seeking to reinstate higher pay or more family time for at least four million workers, including 370,000 in Texas.
The rule had been set to take effect Dec. 1, but was temporarily set aside by a federal judge in East Texas. Gov. Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton led Texas into the lawsuit that dashed the hopes of workers who were depending on the new rule to prevent employers from requiring them to work overtime hours for free.
“The Texas AFL-CIO will stand up for any worker, union or not, to secure a fair deal in the workplace,” Texas AFL-CIO President John Patrick said. “Today, we are going to federal court to carry out that task.”
“Although the Labor Department has appealed the order against the overtime rule, it is now clear that the next designated Secretary of Labor will join the leadership of Texas in opposition to giving salaried workers a fair deal in the workplace,” Texas AFL-CIO President John Patrick said.
“The Texas AFL-CIO is certain the White House under President-elect Donald Trump has no intention of pursuing a strong overtime rule. But we believe the very notion of decent wages for decent work is in play. We cannot allow the federal court ruling that set aside the overtime rule to stand without challenge. The overtime law is supposed to encourage employers to allow workers to spend more time with their families, not less. That is always worth fighting for.”
Background: The new rule would have updated an employer choice when it comes to paying salaried workers: Pay at least $47,476 a year (up from a paltry $23,660 that in some cases amounts to a sub-minimum hourly wage) or pay less and provide workers time-and-a-half when they work over 40 hours. For more information, go to: https://www.dol.gov/featured/overtime.
The Texas AFL-CIO is a state labor federation consisting of 237,000 affiliated union members who advocate for working families in Texas.