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Zoeller adds Indiana to states’ challenge of new federal overtime rule

September 20, 2016

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller has added Indiana to a list of 20 other states challenging a new federal overtime rule.

The U.S. Department of Labor issued a final new overtime rule on May 23 that doubles the salary threshold for employees to be exempt from overtime, regardless of whether they perform executive, administrative or professional duties. Zoeller joined a coalition of 20 states challenging the new rule on Tuesday, saying the department is enacting it without congressional authorization.

After Dec. 1, all employees, including state and local government employees, are entitled to overtime if they earn less than $913 a week, a move Zoeller’s office said will cause state and local governments to increase their employment costs, eliminate services and lay off employees. The attorney general’s office also said the new rule contains a ratcheting mechanism to increase the salary-level every three years automatically without going through the standard rule-making process required by federal law.

“This rule is a direct challenge to our system of federalism by allowing unelected federal bureaucrats to tell Indiana and other sovereign states how much to pay our own public servants and at the same time it assumes the authority of the legislature in violation of the separation of powers,” Zoeller said in a statement.

In addition to Indiana, the states of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin, the Michigan attorney general and the governors of Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi and New Mexico have joined the suit.

The case is filed in the United States District Court for the Easter District of Texas, Sherman Division.

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