Federal Judge Knocks Down Obama’s Absurd Overtime Rule
In May of 2016, former-US President Barack Obama, aka Mr. Draw a Line in the Sand, announced his administration’s final overtime rule, a Presidential Memorandum that promised to boost pay for millions of Americans.
The rule was almost as scary as the addendums Bam made to the National Defense Authorization Act, ones that landed members of the American press in detention centers alongside terror suspects simply because they wrote things that Barack didn’t want us to know about.
Scary though it was, it came as no surprise to those of us who had been paying attention to the ways in which he and his administration trampled on the Constitution, defecated on Americans’ civil liberties and flat-out lied to the general public (remember when he said that he was anti-war, only to launch a half-hearted attack on Libya?).
Obama once claimed, “We’ve got to make sure that this economy works for everybody who’s willing to work, everybody who’s willing to do their fair share…This is an issue of basic fairness. If you work longer and you work harder, you should get paid for it.”
Which begs the question: Where was the fairness when Obama created his “green jobs” and didn’t create a single one that the average American would be qualified for?
The above quote was from a speech Ole Dumbo Ears delivered in Wisconsin regarding his intended updates to existing overtime rules.
In March of 2014, Obama issued a Memorandum for the Secretary of Labor, urging them to modernize overtime regulations by “streamlining the existing overtime regulations” and “address the changing nature of the workplace.”
It was a desperate attempt to cement his place in the history books and one that was met with understandable consternation from the GOP. As his Presidency came hurtling towards its inevitable end, the administration frantically scrambled to put together whatever they could, essentially throwing crap at a wall and seeing what would stick.
In the summer of 2016, they presented the Final Rule, a bill that aimed to regulate the FLSA’s “white collar” overtime exemptions. The bill, should it end up going through, would strike a serious blow against enterprise in the United States.
The DOL (Department of Labor) touted this bill as a win for salaried employees, saying that it would make those employees earning less than $50,440 eligible for overtime pay.
The official estimate was that the rule would up wages across America to the tune of $1.3 billion. Sounds good for the little man, right? But those who didn’t have their head in the clouds saw what this really meant for the business world—companies would be forced to search for cuts in the wake of such astronomical costs.
Consequently, budgets would have to be slashed, programs would have to be compromised and the entire infrastructure of businesses would be irrevocably damaged.
Fortunately for those of us without blinders on, some of those in positions of power didn’t drink the Kool-Aid on this one and, in late-August, Federal Judge Mazzant of the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas issued a final ruling to invalidate the overtime rule.
Judge Mazzant ruled that the bill was going “too far” in basically eliminating employees who perform exempt duties and make less than the high salary threshold. Additionally, Mazzant denied a motion by the AFL-CIO, preventing them from arbitrating or in any way interceding in the case.
It was a move that many had been waiting for with baited breath. When the rule was finalized back in the summer of 2016, it was intended to go into effect in December of the same year, but Mazzant had issued an order that enjoined it from taking effect at the time. As a result, almost a year went by with everyone waiting to see how things would shake out.
While the rule is not dead quite yet, the ruling virtually guarantees that we will see a substantial change if the rule ends up going through. If the bill survives, it will most likely be at smaller salary levels.
But don’t jump for joy right out of the gate. It’s imperative that Americans understand the harsh reality of the situation. Although Judge Mazzant’s ruling puts the kibosh on the rule for now, it’s more like a Band-Aid on a brain hemorrhage than a cauterization of a wound.
The Far Left are already taking pains to reverse Judge Mazzant’s two consecutive lawsuits with the DOL issuing a fresh RFI (Request for Information) in an effort to push a new rulemaking process. To put it more simply, if they can’t have their cake and eat it too, they’re gonna whip up a new cake, one that will no doubt be as half-baked as the last one.
As of September 5th, 2017, the DOL are asking the Fifth Circuit to dismiss its appeal of Judge Mazzant’s preliminary injunction, arguing that Mazzant’s August ruling renders the initial injunction moot. A response is expected by September 25th which is why it is important that American citizens participate in this landmark piece of legislation.
Readers are urged to write to the District Court and let their feelings about the prospect of a new rule be known to those with the ability to challenge it. As Irish political philosopher and father of modern conservatism Edmund Burke famously said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
About the author
Sam Bocetta is a retired engineer who worked for over 35 years as a defense contractor for the U.S. Navy, specializing in electronic warfare and advanced computer systems. Past projects include development of EWTR systems, Antifragile EW project and development of Chaff countermeasures. Sam now teaches at Algonquin Community College in Ottawa, Canada as a part time engineering professor and is the ASEAN affairs correspondent for Gun News Daily.