PPWO Statement on Proposed Puerto Rico Exemption

While the Partnership to Protect Workplace Opportunity is not taking a position on Chairman Rob Bishop’s discussion draft of the legislation to restructure Puerto Rico’s debt, PPWO released the following statement in reaction to section 410 (p. 87) of the legislation, which would exempt the territory from the Department of Labor’s proposed 113% increase to the salary threshold for exemptions to overtime pay requirements for white collar employees:

The recently released draft debt restructuring package for Puerto Rico contains a provision exempting the government and businesses operating in the territory from the Department of Labor’s pending overtime rule. The exemption highlights the significant consequences the rule will have on employees and employers in lower cost-of-living regions of the country and in many sectors of the economy. The DOL overtime rule will significantly and negatively impact not only Puerto Rico, but also nonprofits, local governments, institutions of higher education, small businesses, and others operating around the United States. It is imperative that DOL reconsider its overtime proposal before it is put into law, which is why PPWO supports this exemption requested by the Puerto Rican government and employers from a wide range of industries operating in the territory.  PPWO urges the Administration and Labor Department to re-examine the overtime proposal in light of the tens of thousands of comments asking them to do so.  We also ask Members of Congress to support the Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act (S.2707/H.R.4773), which would require the Department of Labor to more closely examine the impact of changes to the overtime regulations before moving forward with a rule.

The exemption was requested in the comments to DOL on the proposed increase to the salary threshold filed by the Puerto Rican government, the Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce, associations representing hotels and tourism, manufacturers, bankers, HR professionals as well as local restaurants and cleaners operating in the territory.