Delay the Overtime Rule

Guest Blog: Gloria Taylor

Last Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed the Regulatory Relief for Small Businesses, Schools, and Nonprofits Act (H.R. 6094) by a vote of 246 to 177 with 5 Democrats joining all Republicans in support. Heritage Action issued a press release last Tuesday in support of the bill.

H.R. 6094, introduced by Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI), delays the implementation of the Department of Labor’s (DOL) new overtime regulation by six months in hopes a new Administration will stop its implementation. Slated to take effect December 1st, 2016, the overtime rule doubles the salary threshold at which the DOL requires employers to pay salaried employees overtime.

The Obama Administration argues these new regulations will raise workers’ wages, as if employers have extra cash floating around to simply hand out. In reality, businesses will be forced to reduce base pay, increase layoffs, and convert salaried employees to hourly and prohibit overtime. Hurting the workers it attempts to help, this federal government knows best approach sticks millions of workers with the inconvenience of closely tracking their hours without a raise in pay. When wages fail to rise, hourly employees will be left to deal with the loss of workplace flexibility.

Small businesses face enough challenges from the federal government that impede their growth let alone the stress of complying with this rule by December. The NFIB notes that if the rule goes into full effect as scheduled many small business will face penalties for failing to immediately comply. Small business lack the legal, compliance and human resources staff needed to quickly process the expensive changes this rule necessitates.

Now that the House has acted, the Senate must pass identical legislation (S. 3462) introduced by Sen. Lankford (R-OK) to delay the implementation of this burdensome rule. Delaying the overtime rule for six months may buy Congress, and small businesses, enough time to prevent the rule from ever taking place.

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