South Carolina will join 20 other states in a federal lawsuit challenging the Obama’ Administration’s new overtime rules.
Attorney General Alan Wilson, a Republican, argues the new overtime rules could drastically increase the employment costs for business in the state. He said the White House circumvented Congress with the new Labor Department regulations that would raise the salary threshold for employees to be eligible for overtime pay.
“This overtime rule is bad for South Carolina Businesses as it will put added pressure on business owners and take away employment opportunities for South Carolinians,” Wilson said in a release. “Forcing these regulations on states is a violation of the 10th Amendment and the rule of law.”
Last year, President Obama asked the Department of Labor to revise the Fair Labor Standards Act’s rule that exempts executive, administrative and professional employees from collecting overtime benefits. Traditionally, wage earners must receive overtime at one-and-half times the regular rate of pay once they work beyond a forty-hour workweek.
The Labor Department doubled the income level that qualifies workers for receiving overtime pay. Under the new “white collar” exemption rule all workers making under $913 a week are now eligible to receive overtime benefits. Previously those who made over $455 a week were ineligible for overtime pay. The new rule will also automatically increase that salary-level every three years to keep up with inflation. At issue is whether any changes to those requirements must be approved by Congress.
Labor Secretary Thomas Perez said his agency is confident in the new rules’ legality. “Despite the sound legal and policy footing on which the rule is constructed, the same interests that have stood in the way of middle-class Americans getting paid when they work extra are continuing their obstructionist tactics,” he said in a statement.
The lawsuit by the 21 states aims to prevent the implementation of the new rule before it goes into effect on December 1.