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To Save Jobs, Congress Should Press "Pause" on Overtime Rule

by Nan Swift / /

NTU urges all Representatives to vote “YES” on H.R. 6094, the “Regulatory Relief for Small Businesses, Schools, and Nonprofits Act.” This legislation would provide temporary relief from the Department of Labor’s (DOL) unreasonable overtime rule.

In late May, the DOL finalized a sweeping and unwarranted expansion of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime regulations, more than doubling the threshold for time-and-a-half overtime pay from $23,660 to $47,467, with automatic increases every three years thereafter. Described as a way to protect U.S. employees, the DOL paid little regard to the painful real-world ramifications of this new statute.

For many employees, this rule is a step backwards - knocking salaried workers back to hourly wage earners. Many of these employees worked hard to achieve the status and benefits of exempt employment, like employer-provided health insurance or retirement accounts. In essence, those working to gain new skills in order to advance up the corporate ladder will suddenly find they need to scale even more rungs. The rule is not compatible with the modern workforce. Today’s workers, such as those at a start-up or nonprofit organization, value flexibility and often eagerly work irregular hours on behalf of a vision. Workplace innovations such as telecommuting would be more difficult to implement due to strict tracking and reporting requirements.

With few exemptions (for certain teaching and academic roles), the overtime rule is an overly broad, “one-size-fits-all” policy that doesn’t reflect the dynamic and increasingly diverse roles in today’s economy. Businesses hard-pressed to implement the rule could be forced to re-classify employees, reduce base wages, and transition roles to part-time - forcing many employees into second jobs. For some businesses it may make more sense to ramp up automation and eliminate jobs altogether.

The DOL’s new overtime rule is a costly jobs-killer, and just one more way our burdensome regulatory regime is making the U.S. less competitive in the global marketplace. Delaying the effective date by six months from December 1 to June 1 is a smart way to give those hit hardest by the rule more time to comply with what could be a radical change to the way we do business.

Roll call votes on H.R. 6094 will be included in our annual Rating of Congress and a “YES” vote will be considered the pro-taxpayer position.

If you have any questions, please contact NTU Federal Affairs Manager Nan Swift at (703) 683-5700