Barletta Votes for Relief for Small Businesses on Overtime Rule
WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) backed legislation that delays an Obama Administration rule that would more than double the salary threshold for employees eligible for overtime pay, reducing opportunities for workers and hurting nonprofits, colleges, and universities. Barletta was an original cosponsor of H.R. 6094, the Regulatory Relief for Small Businesses, Schools, and Nonprofits Act, which requires a six-month delay in the implementation of the Department of Labor’s overtime rule. The proposed rule raises the salary threshold for overtime-eligible employees to $47,476 and would take effect on December 1, 2016 unless delayed. The legislation provides much-needed time for businesses, nonprofits, colleges, and universities to better prepare for the impact of the rule. The bill passed the House of Representatives late Wednesday evening by a vote of 246-to-177 and now heads to the Senate for its consideration.
“Many employers I’ve talked to were not even aware of the change in the overtime rule and are wholly unprepared for the consequences of such a major change in policy,” Barletta said. “As a former small business owner, I know that the way to retain good employees is to be able to pay them more. This rule takes away the flexibility to do that. Employers will shift workers away from salaried positions, reduce work hours, decline to hire new employees, or even eliminate some positions. This is an ill-considered rule that the Obama Administration is determined to enforce, and the least we can do is delay its impact.”
The Fair Labor Standards Act establishes important protections for workers, among them the right to overtime pay at time-and-a-half for work performed above 40 hours per week. The existing threshold for overtime pay is a salary of $23,660. Moving that figure to $47,476 encompasses many more employees and places severe burdens on small businesses, nonprofits, and colleges and universities.
“It took the Obama Administration 27 months to craft this rule, but it expects employers to implement it with only six months’ notice,” said Barletta, who is also cosponsoring bills to fully repeal the rule. “The rule will hurt workers, eat into nonprofits charitable spending, and threaten college students with tuition increases. We would rather eliminate the new rule altogether, but with President Obama standing in our way, a six-month delay is a good start.”