I’m very pleased to report that NFIB won a major victory last week against the Department of Labor’s overtime rule, which so many of you have told us is a serious threat to your business.
As most of you know, the overtime rule doubles the salary level below which workers are entitled to mandatory overtime. Currently, salaried employees earning under $23,660 must be paid time and a half for every hour they work over 40 hours per week. The new rule raises the ceiling to $47,476, which means that millions more workers will be eligible for overtime. It also means substantially higher labor costs for small businesses.
Small businesses have very little time to make the adjustments. The deadline for compliance is December 1. That’s highly problematic for small business owners, most of whom do not have in-house human resource professionals who can navigate the new regulation.
On Wednesday of last week, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to push back the deadline to June 1, 2017. The measure passed with bipartisan support. A companion bill was introduced in the Senate on Thursday, and we expect it to pass as well. As you know, Congress rarely acts with such urgency. I’m very proud of our D.C. policy team, who worked tirelessly for the past several weeks educating lawmakers and their staffs on how the overtime rule will damage many of your businesses. At our recent Guardian Award ceremony on Capitol Hill, during which we recognized our strongest allies in Congress, I personally urged hundreds of members of the House and Senate to make this issue a priority.
Thankfully they’re doing exactly that. In the meantime, we are pursuing two additional strategies: Last week the NFIB Small Business Legal Center filed a lawsuit in federal court to block implementation of the rule. In the previous week, we submitted a formal petition to the Department of Labor asking for the deadline to be extended by six months.
The overtime rule is potentially devastating to thousands of small businesses. That’s why we’re fighting it with all of our resources. Many of you have already contacted members of Congress to let them know that this is critically important, and we thank you. If you haven’t done so, you can join the fight, too, by letting your representatives know that Congress must delay implementation.
We will keep you updated on how the issue develops in the weeks ahead. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to contact our office if you have any questions or if there’s anything else we can do for you.