Friday, March 25, 2016

GOP Introduces Bill in Opposition to DOL’s Overtime Rule

The fight continues….



On the heels of the news that the DOL’s new rules on overtime could be released this Spring, Republican members of the House and Senate introduced a bill that would effectively invalidate it. The Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act, was introduced by Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) and in the House by Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI).

The GOP bill cites the following deficiencies of the DOL’s proposed rule:

  • The Secretary of Labor significantly underestimated the cost of compliance with the rule.
  • The Secretary of Labor did not consider the potential impact of the proposal on workplace flexibility.
  • The Secretary of Labor did not analyze the potential impact of the proposed rule on multistate employers.  These companies operate in multiple states with different costs of living and different salary scales, and therefore "face costs and unique complications" in reclassifying thousands of employees in multiple jurisdictions.
  • The Secretary of Labor lacks the authority to increase the salary threshold on an annual or other basis "without conducting notice and comment rulemaking with respect to each change in accordance with section 553 14 of title 5, United States Code."
  • Although the proposed rule indicates changes to the duties test might be included in the final rule, these changes would be made without the requisite notice and comment period and procedures.

 
In light of this, the bill would "require the Secretary of Labor to nullify the proposed rule regarding defining and delimiting the exemptions for executive, administrative, professional, outside sales, and computer employees, to require the Secretary of Labor to conduct a full and complete economic analysis with improved economic data on small businesses, nonprofit employers, Medicare or Medicaid dependent health care providers, and small governmental jurisdictions, and all other employers, and minimize the impact on such employers, before promulgating any substantially similar rule, and to provide a rule of construction regarding the salary threshold exemption under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, and for other purposes."

Veto bait? Surely, but it is another indicator of the level of opposition to the DOL’s proposed rule, and how it went about the process. This bill simply echoes the stance of many business groups to the serious problems these changes to the FLSA would cause. 

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