Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) welcomed news that the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas issued a preliminary injunction on Nov. 22, blocking the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) overtime final rule. Prior to the injunction, the rule was scheduled to go into effect on Dec. 1 and would have doubled the current minimum salary threshold for employees that are exempt from overtime pay and automatically increased it every three years.
“Construction contractors are pleased that the court has stepped in to provide relief from another overreaching and burdensome regulation from the Department of Labor,” said ABC Vice President of Legislative and Political Affairs Kristen Swearingen. “By dramatically increasing the minimum salary threshold for exempt employees, the Department of Labor’s overtime rule would have taken workplace flexibility away from employees and may have required some employers to consider switching certain employees from salaried to hourly positions.
“Additionally, the rule would have a significant impact on commercial and industrial construction projects in particular, since they often last longer than three years and are carefully planned to stay on time and under budget,” said Swearingen. “The injunction granted today will protect employers from being forced to speculate which of their employees may be considered non-exempt under a salary threshold that could change in the middle of a multiyear construction project.”
The DOL noted its disappointment in the injunction, noting in a press release: “The Department strongly disagrees with the decision by the court, which has the effect of delaying a fair day’s pay for a long day’s work for millions of hardworking Americans. The Department’s Overtime Final Rule is the result of a comprehensive, inclusive rule-making process, and we remain confident in the legality of all aspects of the rule. We are currently considering all of our legal options.”