PPWO Statement on Final OT Rule

A statement from the Partnership to Protect Workplace Opportunity (PPWO) about the Labor Department’s final overtime rule:

The public record surrounding the rule is filled with comments, economic analysis, letters from Congress, and meetings and phone calls urging the administration to reconsider its proposal and more carefully examine the potential impact before proceeding. We are deeply disappointed that the Labor Department largely ignored the concerns of tens of thousands of individuals and organizations across this country that expressed concern with the proposal. The final rule increases the salary threshold for overtime eligibility to $47,476 – instead of the $50,440 figure originally proposed. However, this token reduction in the salary threshold is still a 100% increase that will take place all at once in December. Employers will not be able to absorb this increase, particularly in such a short time frame, and DOL’s token reduction will not alleviate the harm this rule will do to these small businesses, nonprofits, colleges and universities, and local governments across the country, their employees and the people and communities that they serve.

Employees and employers – many of which are still unaware of this rule – will be hit hard when it is implemented. Costs will soon increase for organizations operating on fixed budgets, forcing them to cut critical programming, staffing, and services. Millions of employees across the country will be reclassified from salaried to hourly workers and begin experiencing reduced opportunity and flexibility in the workplace. Further, the rule’s automatic increases ignore wider economic variables or the reality of organizations and their specific budgetary constraints. These automatic updates threaten to impose serious hardships on public and private sector employers and employees without regard to economic circumstance of the time, which will have damaging consequences for the communities they serve.

While the nation’s overtime rules should be updated, today’s final rule will do serious damage to people’s careers and workplace flexibility, new job opportunities and essential community services. We will continue to advocate for a regulation that is considerate of all stakeholder and economic realities facing employers and employees across the country. We urge Members of Congress to support the Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act.

–        Lisa Horn, PPWO spokesperson and director of congressional affairs at the Society for Human Resource Management.