Twenty-one states led by Republicans sued the Obama administration Tuesday over the Labor Department's new "overtime rule" — charging it circumvented Congress and it would increase costs for small companies.
"Once again, President Obama is trying to unilaterally rewrite the law," said Texas Attorney General Paxton, who is leading the action with Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt. "And this time, it may lead to disastrous consequences for our economy.
"The numerous crippling federal regulations that the Obama administration has imposed on businesses in this country have been bad enough," Paxton said. "But to pass a rule like this, all in service of a radical leftist political agenda, is inexcusable."
The White House announced in May the new rules to take effect Dec 1. They double the annual salary threshold that allows companies to deny overtime to nearly $47,500, up from $23,660.
The change would make 4.2 million more salaried workers eligible for overtime pay. Most hourly workers would continue to be guaranteed overtime.
The Labor Department has estimated the change would increase pay by $1.2 billion a year over the next decade — and business groups have charged the new regulations would increase paperwork and scheduling burdens for small companies.
Many businesses also would be forced to convert salaried workers to hourly ones to more closely track working time, the groups contend.
GOP House Speaker Paul Ryan has vowed to fight the new overtime regulation.
Other states joining the lawsuit are: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, and Wisconsin.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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