Bloomberg Law for HR Professionals is a complete, one-stop resource, continuously updated, providing HR professionals with fast answers to a wide range of domestic and international human resources...
By Ben Penn
Feb. 10 — More than 100 members of the House, including two Democrats, asked Labor Secretary Thomas Perez in a letter Feb. 9 to reconsider a controversial proposed regulation to expand workers' access to overtime wages.
The final rule, which the Labor Department has estimated will be out in July, has been heavily criticized by Republican lawmakers from both chambers.
But with two Democrats—Reps. Brad Ashford (Neb.) and Collin Peterson (Minn.)—signing on to the congressional letter, opposition to the rule may be slightly expanding.
The letter opposing the rule originated from the offices of two members of the House Small Business Committee, Reps. Cresent Hardy (R-Nev.) and Steve Knight (R-Calif.). It included 108 signatures in total, including most Republican members of the Education and the Workforce Committee.
The Obama administration, worker advocates and a host of congressional Democrats have hailed the rule as providing a necessary boost to the middle class by modernizing an outdated statute.
In its July proposed rule, the DOL called for updating the Fair Labor Standards Act by more than doubling the minimum salary for overtime exemption to $50,440 per year from $23,660.
Ashford and Peterson are two of 15 members of the House Blue Dog Coalition, a conservative wing of the Democratic party.
Lawmakers said in the letter to Perez that the regulation would “adversely impact all affected employers, especially small businesses,” and wind up having negative consequences for workers. “We urgently ask you to reconsider moving forward with this rule as drafted,” the letter concluded.
Any move to delay or block the regulation likely faces headwinds from President Barack Obama, who initiated the overtime changes by directing the DOL in 2014 to write the rule.
The president has been less vocal of late about the regulation, opting not to mention it in his State of the Union address in January. But it is still considered one of the top priorities of the administration's working families agenda.
Perez in a December interview indicated the agency is doing anything but slowing down on the rule. He told Bloomberg BNA that he's confident the overtime regulation will be finalized by the spring, which would be slightly ahead of the schedule projected in the DOL's regulatory agenda.
For more information, see Compensation and Benefits Library’s Fair Labor Standards Act: General Principles chapter.
To contact the reporter on this story: Ben Penn in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Susan J. McGolrick at firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)