06.07.16

Senators Isakson, Perdue Join Resolution To Stop DOL Rule That Will Harm Hardworking Americans, Small Employers

Resolution of disapproval awaits Senate vote

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and David Perdue (R-GA) today cosponsored legislation to stop the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) from implementing another aggressive  regulation that will harm hardworking Americans and small business owners.

“It is regulations such as this one that are hindering economic growth and true recovery in our country,” said Senator Isakson, who chairs the Senate labor subcommittee. “This latest overtime pay regulation denies working families the opportunity to have flexible schedules or to work from home because it forces employers to track every hour they work, even if they’re paid an annual salary. It will especially harm non-profits such as charities, churches, and colleges and universities that are unable to meet the higher costs brought on by this red tape. I will do everything I can to stop this rule and prevent the administration from placing additional burdens on our job market.”

“President Obama’s economic policies are failing the very people they claim to champion – the working middle class,” said Senator Perdue. “Unnecessary government regulations are forcing companies to restructure and dedicate more of their bottom line to compliance costs. This directly impacts workers. Now, in order to comply with President Obama’s new overtime regulation, Georgia businesses are forced to consider cutting employee hours or replacing full-time employees with part-time workers. The Obama economy is failing and it is time for a new direction.” 

On May 18, 2016, the Labor Department finalized a rule that forces many small businesses, non-profits, and higher education institutions to reclassify some salaried employees as hourly employees. The rule will likely prompt employers to cut jobs or reduce salaries, and could deprive middle class workers the chance to negotiate flexible work schedules.

Senate Labor Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) introduced the resolution of disapproval, which falls under the Congressional Review Act, to block this new rule from being implemented.

Background:

The Labor Department’s latest regulation will more than double the salary level under which workers would be required to receive overtime pay whenever they work more than 40 hours in any given week. Currently, salaried workers who earn less than $23,660 are automatically entitled to overtime pay. Under Obama’s new rule, salaried workers who earn less than $47,476 would be automatically entitled to overtime pay. Further, this threshold is scheduled to increase every three years without Congressional approval. The proposal also will force employers to track the hours of many salaried employees each week to prove whether they worked more than 40 hours.

On March 14, 2016, the Labor Department took overtly political steps to fast-track this controversial overtime rule so that the deadline for Congress to challenge it under the Congressional Review Act would occur while President Obama still has the opportunity to veto the challenge before he leaves office, thus denying the American people the opportunity to object through their representatives in Congress.

Senators Isakson and Perdue have also co-sponsored legislation that would prevent the overtime rule from being enforced until the Department of Labor has completed additional studies about the potential negative effects the regulation could have. It would require the Department of Labor to follow the strict process of proposing a new rule any time it sought to increase the salary threshold for overtime pay. The Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act, S.2707, was introduced on March 17, 2016.