More than 100 members of the U.S. House of Representatives asked Labor Secretary Thomas Perez to reconsider the Department of Labor’s proposed regulation to expand overtime eligibility arguing that the one-size fits all rule would adversely affect employers and hurt the nation’s workers instead of helping them.
The proposal would have a significant impact on truckstops and travel plaza members by greatly expanding the number of employees required to receive overtime pay for time worked in excess of 40 hours per week.
In a letter sent Feb. 4, the Congressmen, which included two Democrats, said many small businesses cannot afford to increase their workers’ salaries to the new salary threshold that has been proposed. To remain economically viable and keep the prices of goods and services competitive, businesses would be forced to reduce workers’ hours or shift salaried workers to hourly status.
Currently, employers are required to pay overtime for all employees who make $23,660 or less per year. The new rule would raise the salary threshold and require employers to pay overtime for all employees who make $50, 400 or less per year. The proposal also raises the annual compensation threshold to $122, 148 per year. All employees earning more than this salary per year are likely exempt from overtime pay. In addition, the proposed rule automatically adjusts the thresholds annually to account for inflation.
The proposal does not change the so-called "duties test" that governs what types of activities exempt employees are able to do as part of their jobs to still be exempt.
The rule has been heavily criticized by Republican lawmakers from both Chambers. Signatories of the Feb. 4 letter included most Republican members of the Education and Workforce Committee, but also included Reps. Brad Ashford (D-Neb.) and Collin Peterson (D-Minn.).
The Labor Department estimates that the final rule will be out in July.
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