Proposed Overtime Regulations Move Forward, Face Opposition

The U.S. Department of Labor reportedly has written its final draft of proposed overtime regulations, published in draft form last summer, and submitted the proposal to the Office of Management and Budget for internal review as the last step before the rules can be made public. As initially drafted, the draft regulations would, among other things, significantly increase the salary threshold (from $23,660 per year to $50,440 per year) for determining whether executive, professional, and administrative employees would be exempt from minimum wage and overtime pay requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act. It has been expected that DOL would release final regulations this spring or summer and that the rules will take effect by January 2017. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez recently reiterated the Department’s goal of expanding overtime protections to 5 million workers. Many Republicans in Congress have expressed strong opposition to the proposed rules. This past week, the chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and others introduced the Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act (S. 2707/HR 4773), which would, among other things, nullify the proposed rule and require the Labor Department to conduct a comprehensive economic analysis on the impact of mandatory overtime expansion to small businesses, nonprofit organizations, and public employers. In introducing the bill, Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) said that small independent colleges in Tennessee estimate the rule would cost each of their schools a minimum of $1.3 million — “a giant figure that may cost the colleges’ students in tuition hikes and cost employees in job cuts.”

Source: National Council of Nonprofits. Nonprofit Advocacy Matters