WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today welcomed reports the Department of Labor will appeal a Texas court ruling from August that would deny 130,000 Ohioans a raise they were promised. In August, Brown called on the Administration to take this step in order to protect the original rule to expand overtime pay. Brown worked with the Obama Administration to raise the overtime threshold, but in August a court ruled to invalidate the new threshold. While Brown said the appeal was promising, the Administration could still lower the threshold. Brown urged the Administration to uphold the new threshold, which would make more than 130,000 Ohioans and 4.2 million Americans newly eligible for overtime pay.
“The President is right to defend this rule in court so that Ohioans working 50 and 60 hours a week get paid for the hours they put in,” Brown said. “But the rule won’t mean much if the Department of Labor only enforces it for some of the workers it’s meant to reach. More than 130,000 Ohioans were promised a raise, and it is up to President Trump and Secretary Acosta to keep that promise for all 130,000.”
The original rule, announced in May 2016 by Brown and Vice President Biden in Columbus, would ensure overtime for all workers earning less than $47,476 a year. The $47,476 threshold was set after months of public comment and compromise with employers to address their concerns. Some employers, including Kroger and PNC Financial in Ohio, have moved forward with implementing the rule for their employees even though it was tied up in courts. Prior to the rule’s announcement in May 2016, the threshold applied only to people earning less than $23,660 annually and had not been updated to account for inflation. If the Administration’s appeal is unsuccessful, the $23,660 threshold remains in effect.
Brown’s work to update federal overtime policies is part of his broader efforts to restore the value of work so Ohioans’ work will pay off once again. His plan would restore the value of work by:
- Raising workers’ wages and benefits
- Giving workers more power in the workplace
- Making it possible for more workers to save for retirement
- Encouraging more companies to invest in their workforces