Schuette: Obama overtime rule will kill job creation

Jonathan Oosting
Detroit News Lansing Bureau

Lansing – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette this week joined Texas and 19 other states in a lawsuit seeking to block a mandatory overtime pay rule enacted by the Obama administration.

The rule, set to take effect Dec. 1, would require employers to pay overtime to salaried workers who earn less than $47,500. It would essentially double the current threshold of $23,660, a rate that has not increased in more than a decade.

Speaking with reporters Thursday, Schuette argued the overtime rule is another example of Democratic President Barack Obama “pouring on” regulations that will decrease job creation.

“What the Obama administration does incessantly is to layer on more rules and more regulations and more taxes,” said Schuette, a Republican. “It’s no wonder that we have the lowest job creation rate since 1949.”

Schuette joined the lawsuit “on behalf of the people of Michigan,” meaning GOP Gov. Rick Snyder did not sign on to the suit. The complaint was filed Tuesday in federal court, the same day several business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, filed their own suit.

U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez said in a statement that the administration is confident “in the legality of all aspects” of the overtime rule, criticizing what he called “obstructionist tactics” and “partisan lawsuits.”

Michigan AFL-CIO President Ron Bieber called the lawsuit “a slap in the face to working people in Michigan” and said in a statement that Schuette was putting himself “squarely on the side of corporate CEOs who want to continue denying overtime pay to Michigan’s working men and women.”

The lawsuit contends the Obama administration overstepped state rights by enacting the new rule and exceeded its constitutional authorization. The complaint seeks a declaratory ruling that the rule is unlawful and cannot be enforced.

“You know what workers deserve? They deserve jobs, paychecks and an economy where jobs and paychecks are flourishing,” Schuette said. “Right now that’s not happening across the country, and that’s why this (presidential) election is about change.”