Businesses consider what's next after overtime rule struck down

Businesses consider what's next after overtime rule struck down

MADISON, Wis. - Wisconsin businesses are figuring out what to do next after a federal overtime rule has been struck down by a judge.

The regulation from the Department of Labor was supposed to take effect Dec. 1 and require anyone making less than $47,476 to be paid overtime. That increase was double the current requirement of $23,660 and was projected to affect more than 4 million workers nationwide.

Instead, a Texas judge blocked the law from being implemented nationwide while a court case proceeds.

At Energy Performance Lighting in Cottage Grove, the regulation would affect about one-third of the 18-person staff.

"It's going to cost extra money and we're going to have to make a decision of do we want to pay this guy overtime or not to do this," owner Rod Heller said.

For project manager Tyler Potter, that means he's not sure if he'll get paid overtime or not.

"It would be nice to make more money because everybody wants to make more money," Potter said. "For me and my hours, I don't think it's going to change how I work."

Potter said his pay range is good for an entry level job but he understands why a boost for some may be needed.

"I'd say if I was making $30,000 and salaried I would be looking elsewhere for a job," Potter said.

Heller tends to agree, but believes the regulation should be changed.

"If it went up to $30,000, $32,000 I wouldn't have an issue with it but to take it all the way to $47,000 that gets touchy," Heller said.

As for what may happen at his business, Heller said he'll wait to see what happens in the courts before changing anything.

Wisconsin was party to that federal lawsuit that resulted in the injunction. In a statement, Attorney General Brad Schimel said he was happy the rule was on hold.

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