NLBMDA Calls for Overtime Rule Reform
Democrats in the House of Representatives introduced the Overtime Reform and Enhancement Act (H.R. 5813), which would phase-in the increase of the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Overtime Rule over three years and eliminate the automatic annual increases. As part of the legislation, the rule would incrementally phase in the new threshold over the next three years, beginning with a 50 percent increase this December, and 25 percent increases at the start of 2018 and 2019.
NLBMDA’s Government Affairs team recommended a 3-year phased-in approach to the increase when it met with White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) about the overtime rule earlier this year and continued to stress this during meetings with Member’s of Congress. NLBMDA remains a leading voice in the Partnership to Protect Workplace Opportunity, a coalition seeking to modify the drastic changes to overtime pay eligibility that will limit flexibility for workers.
In May, DOL announced a final rule that will dramatically increase the number of employees eligible for overtime pay. The rule increases the salary level under which full-time salaried “white collar” employees qualify for overtime pay from $455 per week ($23,660 annually) to $913 per week ($47,476 annually).
The rule is set to take effect on December 1, 2016. In addition, the threshold will automatically adjust every three years and be based on the 40th percentile of average earnings for salaried workers in the lowest wage census region, which is currently the South. This means DOL will next increase the threshold levels to take effect on January 1, 2020, and post the new salary levels 150 days in advance of the effective date (August 1, 2019).
Rep. Kurt Schrader (OR) introduced the legislation along with fellow Democrats Jim Cooper (TN), Henry Cuellar (TX), Gwen Graham (FL), and Collin Peterson (MN). It is one of several initiatives that would address the new rule’s adverse impacts before they take effect.
Time is of the essence. NLBMDA members should contact their representative and ask for their support of H.R. 5813.
If you have any question regarding this issue please contact Ben Gann, NLBMDA’s Vice President of Legislative and Political Affairs, at [email protected].