NATSO Responds to DOL Proposal to Expand Overtime Eligibility

NATSO on Sept. 4 filed comments with the Department of Labor in response to the agency’s proposed rule governing which employees are eligible for overtime pay.

NATSO is filing comments with the Department of Labor in response to the agency’s proposed rule governing which employees are eligible for overtime pay.

Among its comments, NATSO said that converting a large number of employees to nonexempt status will lead to unintended consequence that ultimately will harm the very employees that the Department is seeking to protect.

NATSO urged the agency to refrain from making changes to the duties test, which currently accommodates the fact that many upper level managerial and executive personnel at truckstops and travel plazas occasionally perform non-exempt duties. 

NATSO further highlighted the proposal’s failure to account for regional differences in salaries. NATSO urged DOL to reflect the realities of regional economies in its final rule to ensure its desired benefits to employees without undercutting employee aspirations.

Truckstops and travel plazas that wish to send in their own letter letting the Department of Labor know how this government overreach would negatively affect their business, including threating jobs and forcing employers to cut hours for salaried employees, may do so here. 

The Obama Administration in July announced the rule, which would raise the current overtime threshold to $50,400 a year up from the current threshold of $23,660 as early as 2016. 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. 

The Department of Labor's proposal would:
•    Increase the minimum salary threshold for overtime eligibility to $970/week ($50,440/year). 
•    Raise the annual compensation threshold (where all employees earning more than this salary per year are very likely exempt from overtime pay) to $122,148/year.
•    Automatically adjust these 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. However, The DOL has indicated that it is considering changes to the duties test, which could have a significant detrimental impact on NATSO members.

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