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September 22, 2016

LePage joins coalition lawsuit against overtime rules

Courtesy / Matthew Gagnon, Wikimedia Commons)
Courtesy / Matthew Gagnon, Wikimedia Commons)
Maine Gov. Paul LePage joined a coalition of states in a lawsuit challenging the new federal overtimes rule, which take effect on Dec. 1.

Gov. Paul LePage joined a coalition of states in filing a lawsuit in federal court challenging the U.S. Department of Labor's new overtime rule on Tuesday, but Attorney General Janet Mills says that the state of Maine is not part of the suit.

"The governor is free to join in his individual capacity, but not on behalf of the state of Maine," Mills told Maine Public. "Unfortunately adding the label governor of the state of Maine implies to people he is representing the state of Maine. That is not the case."

In a statement announcing that he had joined the coalition's complaint, LePage said that if implemented the new OT rules would "force many state and local governments to increase their employment costs. Some may be forced to eliminate some services and even lay off employees."

The filed complaint adds that "Under the new overtime rule, the state of Maine estimates that approximately 450 employees could be no longer overtime exempt," a claim that Mills is wary about.

"The allegations and the paragraphs here pertaining to the state of Maine, it's very unclear to me where those numbers come from. Very unclear what the effects of the Department of Labor rules are on the state of Maine," Mills told Maine Public. "I don't think the research has really been done to support those allegations."

A coalition of industry groups that includes the Associated Builders and Contractors and the National Association of Homebuilders, in addition to chambers of commerce, have also filed a lawsuit challenging the U.S. DOL's new overtime rules.

For a closer look at the new Federal OT rules, Mainebiz Senior Writer James McCarthy compiled an in-depth look at the legislation, which takes effect on Dec. 1.

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