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Trump Begins Process to Rescind Overtime-Pay Expansion

WASHINGTON—The Department of Labor on Oct. 30 requested public comments on an Obama-era rule that would have extended overtime pay to 4.2 million workers, the first step in the process to rescind or weaken it. The rule required employers to pay overtime to salaried workers making up to $47,500 a year, double the previous threshold, but a federal judge in Texas blocked it from going into effect in November 2016, after a group of 21 states and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce filed a lawsuit challenging it. The department asked for comments on whether the current threshold of $23,660 should be increased to account for inflation, and whether it should be set at different levels in different regions or industries or for larger and smaller employers. “Working people should not have to wait another day for government to be on their side,” Christine Owens of the National Employment Law Project said in a statement Oct. 31. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta has indicated that he would favor a salary threshold somewhere between $30,000 and $35,000 per year, and the department is also considering eliminating the threshold entirely and basing overtime eligibility on workers’ job duties.

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