Twenty-One States Attempt to Enjoin Overtime Rule

Last month, MSEC reported on a lawsuit filed by 21 states to prevent the U.S. Department of Labor’s overtime rule from taking effect December 1, 2016. In that case’s latest twist, the 21 plaintiff states have filed an Emergency Motion for Preliminary Injunction, requesting the Eastern District of Texas to impose a nationwide injunction to prevent the rule from taking effect “pending a full hearing on the merits and any review by higher courts.” Nevada v. U.S. Dep’t of Labor (E.D. Tex. 2016).

“Without this Court’s intervention, on December 1 of this year the United States Department of Labor will impose upon the Plaintiff States irreversible budgetary damage, displacement of State policy choices about crucial governmental functions and services, workplace and administrative disruption, and possibly even eventual employee terminations,” the motion states. “In the process, our Nation’s foundational principles of federalism and separation of powers will be another, albeit less visible, casualty.”

The motion makes several arguments, including violation of the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act, and that the overtime rule would represent an unlawful delegation of congressional power.

Opinions on the motion’s likelihood of success run the gamut. Many call the motion a “long shot,” while other pundits point out that courts often grant such motions when they preserve the status quo, as this one would. In any event, members are once again cautioned to proceed as though the overtime rule will take effect on December 1 unless directed otherwise.