March 17, 2016 (Washington D.C.) – The introduction today of legislation halting the U.S. Department of Labor’s anticipated overtime rule reflects mounting and widespread concerns of public-sector, nonprofit, and private-sector employers about the unintentional damage to workers and the U.S. economy such a rule would inflict.
“If these rules go into effect as proposed, we would need to reduce staff and programming,” said Elizabeth Hays, director of human resources at MHY Family Services in Mars, Pa. “And we would need to eliminate the flexible schedules that our employees value. We attract a diverse team of competent people primarily because we offer meaningful work, adequate benefits, and flexible schedules, despite lower salaries.”
The Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act, introduced in the Senate and House by Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.) and cosponsored by Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.), would delay publication of the Labor Department’s expected regulation, dramatically expanding mandatory federal overtime pay, despite widespread opposition from stakeholders. The bill would require the department to first conduct a comprehensive economic analysis on the impact of mandatory overtime expansion to small businesses, nonprofits, and public employers.
“We are pleased Senators Alexander and Scott and Representatives Walberg and Kline have recognized the burden that this proposed rule will exact on our country’s employers and employees, and we urge Congress to delay the final rule until the Labor Department comprehensively examines its economic impact, as recommended by the Obama Administration’s Small Business Administration,” said Lisa Horn, a spokeswoman for the Partnership to Protect Workplace Opportunity (PPWO).
PPWO is a group of more than 60 employer organizations and companies representing the broad employer community’s response to the proposed overtime rule changes.
The bill was introduced in response to grassroots concern among small and large businesses, nonprofits, municipalities, and schools that the dramatic changes proposed by the Labor Department will not only result in an estimated cost of $8.4 billion per year, but will reduce opportunity and flexibility for millions of executive, professional, and administrative employees.
“Our members believe that employees and employers alike are best served with a system that promotes maximum flexibility in structuring employee hours, career advancement opportunities for employees, and clarity for employers when classifying employees,” said Horn, who is also director of congressional affairs at the Society for Human Resource Management, which co-chairs PPWO along with the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources.
PPWO expects many more lawmakers to sign onto the bill as they hear from their constituents in coming days.
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About PPWO: The Partnership to Protect Workplace Opportunity consists of a diverse group of associations, businesses, and other stakeholders representing employers with millions of employees across the country in almost every industry. The Partnership is dedicated to advocating the interests of its members in the expected regulatory debate on potential changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime regulations. For more information: www.protectingopportunity.org