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Judge voids Trump rule that states called unfriendly to labor

NEW YORK, Sept 8 (Reuters) - A federal judge on Tuesday struck down a Trump administration rule narrowing the definition of a "joint employer," which the attorneys general of 17 states and Washington, D.C. said would eliminate important labor protections for workers.

U.S. District Judge Gregory Woods in Manhattan said the Department of Labor failed to justify narrowing the rule or accounting for its costs, making the rule arbitrary and capricious. He also said it conflicted with the broad definitions within the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.

Led by New York and Pennsylvania, the mostly Democratic-leaning states said the rule would make it harder to hold companies liable for violations by franchisees and contractors of minimum wage and overtime laws, resulting in lower pay for lower- and middle-income workers. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Tom Brown)