Retail and fast food workers could get a larger paycheck if a new federal court case goes their way.
Workers from the restaurant chain Chipotle filed a class-action lawsuit Tuesday against their employer in a New Jersey federal court. The suit seeks to force the fast food chain follow a U.S. Department of Labor regulation which has been halted by a different judge.
The regulation issued under the Obama Administration would double the income ceiling for employees who qualify for time-and-a-half overtime pay. A federal court in Texas blocked the rule from taking effect until it could hear the case, a process known as an injunction. The Chipotle suit claims the injuction only blocks the Labor Department from enforcing the rule, not businesses from following it.
USC Employment Law Professor Joseph Seiner says a ruling favorable to the plaintiffs in the case could have an impact in South Carolina, if other employees try to force their employers’ hands.
Previously if workers earned around $23,000, they were no longer eligible for overtime benefits. Under the new regulation that income ceiling would raise to over $46,000 before overtime could be denied.
But Seiner cautioned that the President still has the final say on whether workers across the get extra pay under the new regulation. Even if the court agrees with the Chipotle employees, President Donald Trump’s administration could simply alter the regulation and the requirement would revert back to the $23,000 cutoff.