The battle to block changes in the federal overtime regulations heated up Tuesday when 21 states and a coalition of business and industry groups filed separate federal lawsuits against the U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez and the Labor Department's top Wage and Hour administrator, David Weil.

The new overtime rules, which go into effect Dec. 1, will make as many as 4.2 million workers, now classified as executive, administrative or professional, newly eligible for overtime pay.

Under current rules, employees earning more than than $23,650 a year, or about $11.30 an hour, might not be eligible to receive overtime if their duties were considered managerial. The new rules say that anybody, regardless of their duties, who earns less than to $47,476 a year, or about $22.80 an hour, will qualify for overtime.

The 21 states, none local, say the new regulations represent federal overreach. The business groups make the same argument, saying the rules will hurt business. They include the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Retail Federation, the Associated Builders and Contractors and American Hotel & Lodging Association.  The suits were filed in Texas.