Retail giant TJX to expand overtime pay despite block of Obama rule

tjmaxx

The TJX Companies, the largest public company based in Massachusetts by revenue, plans to comply with the Obama administration’s rule expanding overtime pay for workers even though a judge last week blocked the rule from taking effect.

A federal judge in Texas sent shockwaves through the business world just before Thanksgiving when he issued an emergency injunction putting a stop to the regulations nationwide, at least temporarily. T

The rule raises the salary threshold for overtime-eligible employees from $23,660 to $47,476. It was set to take effect on Dec. 1 before the court blocked it.

However, the court decision did not change TJX’s (NYSE: TJX) plans to comply with the rule, spokeswoman Doreen Thompson said Monday in an email.

“At TJX, we attribute our success primarily to the people we have hired over many years who remain focused on our mission of delivering amazing values to consumers,” Thompson said. “With this in mind, TJX will move forward as planned in implementing the changes outlined in Department of Labor’s new rules.”

Framingham-based TJX employs more than 200,000 people around the world. It operates TJ Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods, among other popular discount-retail chains.

Because the court ruling came just days before the rule was to take effect, many businesses had already made the changes to comply with the regulations. They had a few options for doing so: Raising workers’ salaries above $47,476 so they do not require overtime pay; keeping employees at their current salaries and starting to pay them time-and-a-half when they work more than 40 hours; or capping their weekly schedules at 40 hours to avoid paying overtime.

Employees paid by the hour are already required to receive overtime pay. The new rule was meant to extend the pay to a wider group of salaried employees, though managers would continue to be exempt.

The court still must rule on whether to permanently block the rule. It is not yet clear when that ruling will occur. Verrill Dana LLP employment lawyer Doug Currier said it could be several months before a final decision is reached.

“A lot of employers are making the practical decision that it’s in limbo, we’ve already told people we’re going to implement it, and we don’t want to go backwards,” at least until the case has worked its way through the court system, Currier said.

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