The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce signed onto a letter with U.S. Chamber of Commerce that urges members of Congress to support the “Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act”. This legislation will stop the Department of Labor’s misguided proposed overtime regulation from going forward and sets out the conditions for reissuing a new overtime proposal.
The proposed regulation would double the salary threshold under which employees would have to be paid overtime for hours worked beyond 40 per week from $23,660 to $50,440. This is a major increase which will force employers to decide whether to reclassify millions of employees to nonexempt status or increase their salaries to keep them exempt.
Reclassifying employees will mean they will lose the ability to set their own hours, and to work from home since that time will be compensable and tracking it will be impossible. Many employees who have been reclassified consider it a demotion and resent the change.
The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce believes this proposed rule would greatly interfere with businesses’ ability to manage their workforce for growth. In 2015, the Kentucky Chamber submitted comments to the Department of Labor voicing opposition and highlighting the negative impact it would have on Kentucky’s businesses.
The Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act recognizes the problems with the proposed rule. First, it would void the proposed regulation— either in its proposed stage, or if it has been finalized. Second, the bill specifies that the Secretary of Labor must conduct a detailed and extended economic analysis identifying the impacts on employers that were ignored in the proposed rule.