From labor disputes cases to labor and employment publications, for your research, you’ll find solutions on Bloomberg Law®. Protect your clients by developing strategies based on Litigation...
Nov. 15 — House Republicans, running low on time to scuttle the rule expanding worker access to overtime pay, may be willing to agree on a compromise.
The new rule mandates that employees earning below $47,476 per year are eligible for overtime pay. That figure is up from the current threshold of $23,660. Business advocates and congressional Republicans have been trying a string of legislative and legal moves to stop or slow the new overtime pay requirements. Thus far they have not slowed the rule, which starts Dec. 1.
Many businesses are already complying with the rule’s requirement, including raising salaries to keep some workers exempt from overtime pay requirements and switching others to hourly rates to better track their time. That could make it tricky for a new administration to try to scrap the rule come January.
Democrats have touted the rule as a way to increase pay for middle-class workers, while many Republicans and business advocates have said the new threshold would cause job losses and add financial pressure on business owners.
Some House Republicans told Bloomberg BNA that they plan to advance measures to lessen the impact of the rule. Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.), chairman of an Education and the Workforce subcommittee, said the current threshold is “too low, but doubling that is way too much.”
“It’s going to be up, and we said that all along, but $47,000 is not the number,” Roe told Bloomberg BNA Nov. 14.
Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) said there is hope the Obama administration will change the rule the congressman described as “disastrous for the economy, and especially for the small businesses.”
Chabot said action will be taken if the administration does not come to understand the rule’s impacts, especially when they have “the numbers” to advance legislation in the new Congress.
“Right now, President Obama is still the president and he apparently likes this overtime rule, or his Labor Department does,” he said. “I think they’re making a big mistake and I hope they are willing to work with a lot business people and members on both sides of the aisle that think this is a bad idea.”
Similar comments were made by Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.), who told Bloomberg BNA Nov. 15 that he is working with colleagues to “see if this can be delayed, but there is no final consensus at this time.”
Although Republicans retained control of both the House and Senate, they didn’t get the 60 seats needed for a filibuster-proof majority in the latter chamber. That means they’ll need at least a few Democrats to cross the aisle if they want to get anything accomplished.
Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.) told Bloomberg BNA that House members are looking at ways to “lessen” the overtime rule’s impact on employers, hinting there could be actions such as an executive order once President-elect Donald Trump (R) assumes office.
“We have to keep pushing on this and I think we have a new president who may be willing to do something with executive order,” he said.
Trump’s opposition to the overtime rule has not been completely defined. He’s previously suggested he’d like to see some sort of carve out or protection for small businesses.
Officials at Trump’s transition team did not immediately respond to Bloomberg BNA’s request for comment Nov. 15.
There’s also some legal actions to halt the rule. A federal judge in Texas will hear oral arguments Nov. 16 on whether to issue a preliminary injunction halting the rule before its effective date.
Congressional Democrats have said they would not support any measures that would weaken the rule.
Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.) told Bloomberg BNA Nov. 15 that it will be “very difficult” for Republicans to halt the rule. Republicans will not be able to slow the rule with the Congressional Review Act challenge because of time limits imposed under the CRA, he said.
“It would be terrible for Republicans and Trump to take any action against the overtime rule,” he said, adding that it would have a “negative affect on middle class workers who have been without for far too long.”
—Chris Opfer contributed to this story
To contact the reporter on this story: Tyrone Richardson in Washington at email@example.com
Copyright © 2016 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)