Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Hey, Middle Class, You Got Screwed

About 4 million people, mostly middle class workers, just got screwed out of a significant amount of money, and they can thank the Republicans — the ones who just promised them they’d have their backs — for the screwing.

A Texas judge blocked President Obama’s bid to expand overtime pay protections to millions of Americans on Tuesday, thwarting a key presidential priority just days before it was set to take effect.

The Labor Department rule would have doubled the salary level at which hourly workers must be paid extra for overtime pay, from $23,660 to $47,476. Siding with business groups including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Texas District Judge Amos L. Mazzant III halted it.

The rule, finalized in May, represented the first such change in more than a decade and was hailed at the time as the most consequential action the Obama administration could take for middle-class workers without congressional involvement.

Plaintiffs had argued the Labor Department acted beyond its authority under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The administration said more than 4 million salaried workers stood to benefit from the change when it took effect Dec. 1.

The rule was already in jeopardy after the election of Donald Trump. Just as the Obama administration made the change through its rule-making prerogatives, a Republican administration could undo it.

Neither the White House nor the Labor Department had an immediate comment.

But Hillary Clinton used the wrong e-mail address so it’s all good.