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Restaurant Law Center, Texas Restaurant Association and Coalition of Impacted Businesses File Lawsuit to Stop Illegal DOL Overtime Rule

Washington, D.C. (May 22, 2024) – Today, the Restaurant Law Center, the Texas Restaurant Association, the Plano Chamber of Commerce and a coalition of national business groups filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas seeking to vacate the Department of Labor (DOL) 2024 Overtime Final Rule (2024 Rule).

In the filing, the coalition argues that by issuing a rule raising the minimum salary for the executive, administrative or professional exemption far beyond a level which DOL is permitted to adopt, and including an unlawful triennial “escalator” provision, DOL is acting in defiance of a previous decision by the Court.

The lawsuit highlights that countless employer members of the coalition associations will suffer irreparable harm from the loss of their employees’ previously exempt status. The costs of compliance will force many smaller employers and non-profits operating on fixed budgets to cut critical programming, staffing and services to the public. In addition, millions of employees across the country will have to be reclassified from salaried to hourly workers, resulting in restrictions on their work hours that will deny them opportunities for advancement and hinder performance of their jobs—to the detriment of their employers, their customers and their own careers. 

Finally, the coalition argues that the inclusion of the unlawful escalator provision will exacerbate the harmful impact on businesses, both large and small, and will add to rampant inflation that is already harming the national economy.

“The Texas Restaurant Association is proud to partner once again with the Restaurant Law Center and other leading business organizations to file a lawsuit in Texas to stop federal regulations that violate the law and threaten our economic vitality,” said Emily Williams Knight, Ed.D., President and CEO of the Texas Restaurant Association. “We look forward to defending restaurants in court against new overtime thresholds that even the DOL estimates will cost local businesses billions of dollars at a time when we need to help these businesses become more resilient in the face of inflation.”  

"It is regretful that the Department of Labor is forcing employers to relitigate the issues that were decided when the Court struck down the 2016 Overtime Rule because of its illegality," said Angelo Amador, Executive Director of the Restaurant Law Center. "The 2024 Overtime Rule repeats the errors of the 2016 Rule and fails to address the flaws previously identified by the Court.”

Because the first phase of the increased salary threshold is scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2024, the coalition requested expedited consideration by the court.

Read the full complaint here.

About The Restaurant Law Center 
The Restaurant Law Center is an independent public policy organization affiliated with the National Restaurant Association. It was established to enhance the industry’s voice in the judicial system. Through its initiatives, the Restaurant Law Center works to protect and advance the restaurant industry and promote pro-business laws and regulations that allow restaurants to continue to grow, create jobs and contribute to a robust American economy. The Law Center provides courts and regulatory agencies with the industry’s perspective on legal and regulatory issues significantly impacting it. For more information, visit 

About the Texas Restaurant Association
 Formed in 1937, the Texas Restaurant Association (TRA) serves as the advocate and indispensable resource for the foodservice industry in Texas. Now the state’s largest private sector employer, Texas’ $106 billion foodservice industry encompasses more than 56,000 restaurant locations and a workforce of over 1.4 million employees. Along with the Texas Restaurant Foundation, the workforce development arm of the TRA, the association proudly continues to protect, advance and educate a growing industry as the TRA celebrates its 87th anniversary year. For more information, please visit