Politics

Gov. Bevin has added Kentucky to a multi-state lawsuit against the federal government over a new rule that makes more people eligible to receive overtime pay.

Starting in December, the new policy will require employers to pay overtime to people who make up to $47,476 a year ($913 per week). Currently employers only have to pay overtime to people who make up to $23,660 a year.

Bevin opposes the rule, saying it would increase employment costs for the state and private employers.

“The result of this unfunded mandate by the federal government would be to force many private sector employers to lay off workers,” Bevin said. “Once again, the Obama administration is attempting to require compliance with non-legally binding edicts that should instead be decided at the state and local level.”

The U.S. Labor Department started finalizing the rule in May, saying that it would put more money into the hands of the middle class, or give them more free time.

An estimated 4 million people would be affected.

Bevin has joined a coalition of 20 other states, led by Texas attorney general Ken Paxton, challenging the rule.

In the lawsuit, the states argue that the new policy “infringes upon state sovereignty and federalism by dictating the wages that States must pay to those whom they employ in order to carry out their governmental functions, what hours those persons will work, and what compensation will be provided where these employees may be called upon to work overtime.”

The lawsuit states that Kentucky has about 1,600 state workers that would be newly eligible for overtime pay as a result of the rule.

The rule is also opposed by Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell, who said that it would encourage employers to cut worker hours and provide fewer benefits.

The other states involved in the lawsuit are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin.

Bevin has joined other multi-state lawsuits challenging Obama administration rules dealing with transgender bathroom guidelines and transgender health protections.

Ryland Barton is the Capitol bureau chief for Kentucky Public Radio.