Here’s What People Are Saying About The Overtime Reform And Enhancement Act:
“Helps Protect Workers and Small Business Owners” ... “The Common-Sense Solution” … “A Reasonable Solution” … “[Provides] Employers More Time to Adjust”… “An Opportunity to Ease the Burden” .. “A Balanced Approach” ... “[Minimizes] the Impact on Small Businesses” ... “[Takes] the Lead on This Critical Issue” ... “Sensible Measure” ... “A Welcome, Constructive Contribution to the Effort to Alleviate the New Rule’s Worst Effects” ... “[Ensures] That Our Workers Have Up-to-Date Overtime Rules” ... “Will Be of Particular Help to...Those That Are Still Recovering from the Aftermath of The Great Recession” ... “The Right Thing To Do” ... “Finally, Some Common Sense” ... “Gaining Support Across the Aisle”
Progressive Policy Institute: "Enter a group of pragmatic Democrats with a compromise aimed at protecting the interests of both workers and employers. Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) has introduced a bill that would enshrine the high salary threshold in law – rather than a regulation a future Republican President could reverse – while giving businesses more time to make the difficult internal adjustments the overtime change requires.
"Schrader’s compromise also deserves President Obama’s support. It’s a win-win for workers and employers – and for progressives who understand that enlightened labor policies work best when they are grounded in a real-world understanding of how labor markets work."
International Franchise Association President and CEO Robert Cresanti: “Inflicting a rule with such massive change upon small businesses without a phase-in period is a stunning blow to hiring, promotion and new business development. The IFA supports Rep. Schrader’s legislation as another opportunity to ease the burden this new rule places on small business owners.”
National Association of Home Builders Chairman Ed Brady: “The nation’s home builders applaud Rep. Schrader for sponsoring this important bill that represents a balanced approach to raise the overtime threshold for workers while minimizing the impact on small businesses. The vast majority of home building firms are small businesses that employ fewer than 10 workers. By gradually ramping up the overtime salary threshold, this legislation will ensure that the law remains relevant for today’s workforce. It also allows small businesses operating on tight budgets sufficient time to adjust.”
USPIRG Executive Director Andre Delatte: “Doubling the minimum salary to $47,476 is especially unrealistic for non-profit, cause-oriented organizations. Organizations like ours rely on small donations from individuals to pay the bills. We can’t expect those individuals to double the amount they donate. Rather, to cover higher staffing costs forced upon us under the rule, we will be forced to hire fewer staff and limit the hours those staff can work – all while the well-funded special interests that we're up against will simply spend more. The logic of the rule, as applied to non-profit, cause-oriented organizations, makes no sense.”
Oregon Home Builders Association CEO Jon Chandler: “On behalf of the nearly 3,000 member companies of the Oregon Home Builders Association, we thank you [Schrader] for taking the lead on this critical issue. As you know, the rule recently adopted by the US Department of Labor would double the salary threshold for employees being considered as exempt from overtime pay requirements, in the process creating a huge financial and paperwork headache for the construction industry. This reasonable, common-sense legislation would provide the time necessary for employers to ensure compliance, communicate changes, and accurately reclassify employees.”
National Association of Broadcasters Executive Vice President of Communications Dennis Wharton: “NAB appreciates Rep. Schrader’s efforts to ease the burden of the Department of Labor’s overtime pay rule by phasing it in over three years. Broadcasters are committed to creating well-paying jobs in their local communities but share the widespread concern that the overtime rule could have a devastating impact on our day-to-day operations and the audiences we serve. We will continue to work with Members of Congress on common-sense approaches to this issue that benefit all stakeholders.”
Retail Industry Leaders Association Executive Vice President for Government Affairs Jennifer Safavian: “Retailers applaud Congressman Schrader for stepping in to ease the pain that the enormous and sudden changes this rule will cause employees and employers, and we urge Congress to take action quickly. By making such dramatic changes to how employees are classified, the Department of Labor is hurting those that it claims it is trying to help. For retail employees, the changes will force countless employees to be reclassified from salaried to hourly, robbing them of the flexibility and upward mobility they currently value.”
Society for Human Resource Management Vice President of Government Affairs Michael P. Aitken: “On behalf of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and more than 285,000 HR professionals, I am writing in strong support of the Overtime Reform and Enhancement Act, to gradually phase-in the Department of Labor’s (DOL) final overtime rule. This reasonable legislation would still provide for a salary threshold increase to the $47,476 level, but would provide the time necessary for employers to ensure compliance, communicate changes, and accurately reclassify employees. Thank you for your leadership on this critical workplace issue.”
National Federation of Independent Business President and CEO Juanita Duggan: “Small business owners are facing a tight deadline to figure out how to comply with the Department of Labor’s big changes to overtime rules. Congressman Schrader’s sensible measure would provide relief for many of these businesses and give them more time to plan for payroll changes. Our members are scrambling to figure out how to work under the new threshold. They are contemplating reductions in benefits and shifting workers to hourly pay. The deadline is looming and we need bipartisan action to forestall this damaging rule.”
American Bankers Association: “The American Bankers Association today wrote to Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) in support of his Overtime Reform and Enhancement Act, which would provide a gradual, three-year phase-in for the Department of Labor’s controversial overtime rule. Our members believe that DoL’s increase to the salary threshold in the first year is simply too much too soon. This drastic increase will present significant challenges for our members that provide banking services in lower cost-of-living areas of the country, particularly community banks.”
National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors Senior Vice President of Government Relations Jade West: “By introducing legislation to modify the Department of Labor’s (DoL) overtime regulation finalized last May by phasing in DoL’s 100-plus percent increase in the salary threshold, Congressman Schrader has made a welcome, constructive contribution to the effort to alleviate the new rule’s worst effects. Just as important, Congressman Schrader’s bill corrects DoL’s extremely ill-advised decision to forego the ordinary notice-and-comment rulemaking process for enacting future increases in the salary threshold by eliminating the new rule’s provision for automatic increases. NAW applauds Congressman Schrader’s initiative and leadership and is pleased to support the Overtime Reform and Enhancement Act.”
U.S. Chamber Executive Director of Labor Policy Marc Freedman: “The new salary level is so high it’s out of synch with California, which means it’s out of synch with the rest of the country, especially lower income areas and industries where sometimes the highest ranking exempt employee may not make the new salary level.”
American Hotel and Lodging Association Vice President of Government Affairs Brian Crawford: “Our industry is ripe with opportunity and has a tremendous track record of providing the training and resources our employees need to move up through the ranks to more senior positions. However, we are concerned that the significant increase in the salary threshold will have a profound negative impact on small and independent business owners who will face real challenges trying to implement this rule. The hotel industry applauds Representative Schrader for his leadership on this critical issue. This commonsense legislation provides employers with much-needed time to comply with the new regulation while also ensuring that our workers have up-to-date overtime rules.”
Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association President & CEO Jason Brandt: “Representative Schrader continues to exemplify leadership qualities we need in our elected leaders. His new overtime proposal represents a common sense compromise that helps protect workers and small business owners as they adjust to new marketplace realities. We hope that Congressman Schrader’s legislation can jumpstart Congressional action to lessen the blunt impact these new regulations will have on not only small businesses, but also the higher education community and employers in the non-profit sector.”
Newspaper Association of America President and CEO David Chavern: “This legislation will be of particular help to our small market newspaper members serving rural communities, as well as those that are still recovering from the aftermath of the Great Recession. We applaud your efforts to provide relief to those industries most impacted by the unintended consequences of this rule – newspapers, universities, non-profits, and small businesses.”
Heating, Air-Conditioning & Refrigeration Distributors: “For our member companies the new overtime rule could have a harsh impact on employees who would not meet the increased exemption. Employees could be moved from salary to hourly, have reduced travel, and lose bonuses to meet the new requirements. This new rule would limit an employee’s ability to attend professional development events and supplemental training by industry experts creating a skills gap in the future of our industries. Additionally, the automatic increase every three years would make compliance with the new exemption an ongoing burden on businesses. The Overtime Reform and Enhancement Act helps to reduce these negative impacts by extending the timetable for compliance with the new exemption level and ending the automatic exemption increase.”
American Supply Association Director of Government Affairs Daniel Hilton: “As [Schrader] correctly identified, businesses large and small will face significant challenges implementing this regulation. Like [Schrader], we agree that the overtime threshold is due for an increase, but under the timeline envisioned by this current regulation, it’s just too much, too soon. Lowering the threshold to $35,984 and phasing in further increases over the course of three years is the right thing to do. By failing to address this looming administrative and financial catastrophe for small businesses, those that this regulation is intended to help, may be harmed as a result. This legislation would bring the relief needed.”
American Society of Association Executives President and CEO John H. Graham: "While not opposed to an update to the overtime threshold, ASAE continues to believe a salary threshold more than 100 percent greater than the current threshold is exceedingly burdensome for many employers; that the minimum salary level for exempt employees should instead be keyed to government data on regional cost-of-living differences; and that the Administration should have taken into account the limitations of nonprofit budgets in setting the minimum salary threshold. For these reasons, we believe the Overtime Reform and Enhancement Act provides a much more reasonable timeline for organizations to comply with this significant payroll burden, starting with a salary threshold increase to approximately $35,984 on Dec. 1, 2016, with additional, incremental increases phased in over the next three years."
Oregon Bankers Association President and CEO Linda Navarro: “More than doubling the current threshold with such a short period of implementation places a considerable strain on Oregon’s banks and the many businesses – especially small businesses – they serve. This strain of the new rules is even more acute given the other employer mandates also required of Oregon businesses by the 2015-16 Oregon Legislature. We believe that the common sense phase-in period of three years contemplated by OREA will provide much needed relief to Oregon’s businesses.”
Northwest Food Processors Association Director of Government Affairs Ian Tolleson: "According to 2014 numbers, Oregon’s food manufacturing sector employs roughly 36,124 Oregonians and total sales for the same year are estimated at $16.4 billion. The industry’s wages play a crucial part in our ability to stay competitive. A significant portion of our workforce would be affected by DOL’s new rule. However, the Overtime Reform and Enhancement Act allows for a phased in approach to allow businesses to adjust to the rule changes and provide a public input process."
International Public Management Association for Human Resources Executive Director Neil Reichenberg: "In 2015, IPMA-HR undertook a survey of its state and local government membership, with almost half supporting an increase in the salary basis test by 50% to $685/week, which is very similar to the $692/week that is included in your legislation. Additionally, more than 60% favored phasing in the increase in the salary basis threshold over several years as does your legislation."
Carolinas AGC President and CEO: "Associations and other nonprofit employers, like Carolinas AGC, are among the organizations that will be hit hard by this unwarranted expansion of overtime eligibility. While not opposed to an update to the overtime threshold, it makes sense that a salary threshold more than 100 percent greater than the current threshold is exceedingly burdensome for many employers."
National Restaurant Association: "Restaurants operate on thin margins with low profits per employee and little room to absorb added costs. The Department of Labor’s overtime overhaul will force many Main Street businesses to change many entry-level managers to nonexempt status. For the employees, this could mean a loss of above-average fringe benefits, less job security and fewer opportunities for career advancement. Allowing for a more gradual phase-in time and eliminating automatic indexing provides employers and employees a respite in navigating yet another regulation."
Independent Bankers Association of Texas President and CEO Christopher Williston: "On behalf of more than 4,024 community banks and branches located in Texas and the 73,000 people they employ, the Independent Bankers Association of Texas extends our support for the Overtime Reform and Enhancement Act Introduced on July 17.
"Community Banks in Texas and nationwide are suffocating under a mountain of increased costly regulations in the wake of Dodd-Frank. In Texas, more than 150 banks have disappeared in the past five years as a result of these costs and government intervention in their business models. The DOL rule is just one more increased cost taht will lead to future consolidation in our industry and have a dramatic impact on all small business."
Nevada Appeal: "Finally, some common sense is floating from the nation’s capital to the rest of the country over the proposed wage minimum for managers.
"A bill recently introduced by four Democratic Congressmen is now gaining support across the aisle. The proposal made by Representatives by Reps. Kurt Schrader, Oregon; Jim Cooper, Tennessee; Henry Cuellar, Texas; and Collin Peterson, Minnesota, would help small businesses to comply with a new rule being implemented by the U.S. Department of Labor that will increase the salary threshold by 100 percent in one leap on Dec. 1, 2016.
"Already onboard for phasing in the new requirements are numerous chambers of commerce, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, an advocate for small business, and economic development agencies.
"This is one bill that will show small businesses that their representatives from both parties are actually listening and willing to help them, not become a rubber stamp for the DOL and White House."
Alton Telegraph: "The rallying cry of many businesses since the change was announced has not been a disagreement over fair wages, but rather the sudden and sharp rise.
"An advantage of living without having to live by the time clock is that it is not uncommon for a salaried worker to be able to balance time each week to allow for work fluctuations or personal needs. That will become a thing of the past.
"Businesses that are able to absorb the economic shock to the system and not cut workers or hours to cover the added expenses will likely have to lower across-the-board starting wages to provide the financial cushion that is needed to keep the companies afloat. Businesses also could minimize the impact of the additional costs by decreasing benefits, such as vacation time or bonuses or their portion of insurance premiums.
"Congress has been slow to react to the urgency of these rule changes, but four House Democrats — Kurt Schrader of Oregon, Jim Cooper of Tennessee, Henry Cuellar of Texas and Collin Peterson of Minnesota — seem to have struck a compromise.
"Their Overtime Reform and Enhancement Act would instead bump the pay increase 50 percent instead of 100 percent this year and would phase in the remaining increase over four years."
Operation Smile “The leadership team at Operation Smile is opposed to the proposed changes to the salary threshold tests, specifically the drastic increase to a salary level of $50,400… Since its founding in 1982, Operation Smile has provided more than 220,000 free surgical procedures for children and young adults born with cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial deformities…Yet still, this proposed update will increase our payroll cost by nearly $1 million annually affecting over 50 percent of our workforce. Considering that a cleft lip surgery performed somewhere in the world costs an average of $240, this would mean 4,166 fewer surgeries provided by Operation Smile globally each year… Our focus needs to be on managing programs not overtime.”
Habitat for Humanity “Habitat for Humanity (Habitat) and other charitable organizations will be disproportionately impacted by the proposed rule and unable to comply without reducing access to products and services… it is estimated that 65 percent of Habitat affiliates employing paid staff will be impacted by the proposal… The nearly $27,000 increase in the minimum salary to qualify for the overtime exemption, for example, represents one-third to one-quarter of the cost of building a typical Habitat home. For a smaller, rural affiliate… it may be impossible to absorb the increased cost… Such an affiliate may have no choice but to cease operations, even if it is the only affordable housing provider in the community it serves.”
The Salvation Army National Headquarters “We respectfully urge the Wage and Hour Division to reconsider the substantial increase in the minimum salary threshold for “exempt" employees that is contemplated by the Proposed Regulations… the proposed increase in the minimum salary for "exempt'" employees would substantially increase the cost of delivering our services, most of which are provided free of charge. Based on information that has been collected to date, it appears that 50% or more of our employees nationwide who are currently classified as "exempt" would become ''non-exempt"... The significance of the effect of this change to our organization cannot be over-stated… We anticipate that staff cuts would therefore become necessary and that we would be required to reduce the religious and charitable programming that we provide nationally.”
National Council for Behavioral Health “The National Council is a non-profit association representing 2,350 community-based mental health and addiction treatment providers… we strongly regret that we are unable to support the proposed rule in its current form. As written, the rule would have a potentially devastating effect on health care organizations serving low-income individuals with serious and persistent mental illnesses and addictions, resulting in the need for service cutbacks and program closures... The untenable financial pressure resulting from the proposed changes would force provider organizations into disastrous service reductions and program closures.”
National Head Start Association (NHSA) “NHSA is the national voice of the more than a million children in Head Start and Early Head Start programs in the United States… Our concerns on the regulatory change are driven entirely by the potential negative impacts on Head Start and Early Head Start agencies… In addition to the potential direct negative impacts on staff, we remain concerned that the proposed NPRM will negatively impact the quality of services we provide to children and families as well… Without additional funding, these programs may be forced to reduce the working hours of essential staff, causing a reduction in the hours and days of operation of some programs. This development would undermine and diminish the ability for programs to meet the needs of the children and families they are trying to serve as well as pose a significant adverse impact on working parents, their employers, and the nation's broader economy.”
Catholic Charities USA “We feel compelled to share what we believe could be substantially negative, and in many cases disproportionate impacts on our agencies as nonprofits. Our overriding concern is that these negative operational impacts will ultimately result in a decline in services, or quality of services, to the most vulnerable members of society who our agencies serve… Specifically, agencies shared that they may need to reduce weekend and evening service hours, close certain program sites, cut back on community outreach activities, or limit staff from “going the extra mile”… The greatest impact would be felt by emergency services programs…These include drop-in centers, domestic violence shelters, crisis pregnancy services, and refugee resettlement programs… the regulations as proposed could place significant burdens on our agencies and ultimately negatively impact their ability to serve in their communities, resulting in a net negative, rather than positive, impact for the most vulnerable in our communities.”
The Bair Foundation “In assessing the proposed FLSA overtime change, The Bair Foundation believes the impact on children in foster care will be unconscionable. The Bair Foundation is a therapeutic foster care organization that provides foster homes for children who are abused and neglected… With salaries and benefits being 40% of our budget, and a good percentage of our staff being affected by the change, our Company cannot withstand this huge and drastic change… Services would be severely impacted and the continuous support of children in foster homes would be interrupted, which is a devastating occurrence in the life of a child. With over 400,000 children placed in the foster care system and 100,000 children available for adoption each year, if non-profits cannot take care of these children, who will?”
Foster Family-based Treatment Association “I write on behalf of the Foster Family-based Treatment Association, the only national association of providers of therapeutic/treatment foster care (TFC)... Given that agencies are limited to public funds, the proposed minimum salary for exempt employees will result in numerous agencies closing down due to inability to meet the new salary requirements. As a result, the major advances in child welfare reform achieved by this Administration…will be severely impacted and likely reversed forcing more youth into congregate care settings where staff hours/limits can be controlled, yet whose costs are significantly higher than community based care and whose outcomes are less favorable.”
America’s Blood Centers “America’s Blood Centers (ABC) represents North America’s largest network of non-profit community blood centers… As non profit and community-based institutions, our concern stems from the significant impact to community blood centers across the country that such broad, sweeping change would have on our ability to continue to serve our communities… The cost impact associated with the proposed overtime threshold [$1.5 million] will be associated with negative consequences for maintaining the infrastructure needed for a robust blood supply…”
Ohio Community Corrections Association (OCCA) “The OCCA is a trade association representing halfway houses that are licensed by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. These facilities have been recognized for their role in providing critical services that allow offenders to successfully transition into local communities… While the negative impact on community corrections staff would be great, the effect on clients would be devastating. Reductions in overall staffing means fewer personnel to provide intensive services that offenders need… Ultimately, these reductions in overall and full-time staffing and decreased service delivery means offenders less prepared to live as law abiding, productive members of Ohio communities to which they return, and consequently increasing offenders re-entering the State and Federal prison system.”
Easter Seals “Easter Seals Central Texas assists youth and adults with disabilities and their families through a range of services, including early childhood development, parenting, job training and employment assistance, audiology services, and community and housing services. The proposed overtime rule would greatly impact direct services Easter Seals Central Texas provides to individuals and families throughout the Austin region. Families served through Easter Seals Central Texas’ Early Childhood Intervention Program…and its Parent Support and Training Program…regularly contact Easter Seals specialists after regular business hours for counsel on issues impacting their children. Easter Seals Central Texas would need to restrict or end after-hours availability of its staff given current reimbursement rates would not cover additional overtime expenses to those programs. Easter Seals Central Texas estimates the proposed overtime rule would impact about 58 percent of their workforce, including service coordinators, early intervention specialists, and key positions in finance and development.”
Goodwill Industries of Northwest Texas “Goodwill Industries of Northwest Texas has 14 Managers who make less than the proposed threshold of $50,440; 12 of those are employed in our retail operation. Doubling the threshold will cripple the restaurant and retail industry, two fields in which a manager does not need a college degree in order to be successful. For our non-profit organization, this would result in an incremental actual expense of $70,560… Please consider raising the threshold in smaller increments over a longer period of time.”
Texas Alliance of Child and Family Services “The Texas Alliance of Child and Family Services is a statewide association representing non-profit organizations in Texas who provide services to children and families who are part of, or at-risk of entering the Texas Child Welfare System. In Texas, these non-profit organizations provide care and treatment to 90 percent of the foster children removed from their homes by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. They are the safety net to care for abused and neglected children, and their operations and service delivery will be negatively impacted by the proposed increase in the salary threshold for exempt employees…We recommend substantial changes be made to the proposed rule to mitigate the fiscal impact on our mission-driven organizations. Any adjustments should be gradually phased in to allow time for organizations to prepare and for state government to adjust reimbursements, which lag behind new cost drivers.”
New Horizons Ranch & Center “New Horizons Ranch & Center, Inc. is a 44 year old, non-profit agency serving children from the northwest, central communities of Texas. We provide intensive residential treatment, therapeutic foster care and adoption services for about 500 children and youth each year who have been removed from their home because of severe abuse and neglect. We also serve another 550-600 children, youth and their families each year who are at-risk of removal or breakdown through our prevention programs…New Horizons cannot sustain the additional financial burden inherent in the proposed rule and strongly requests further consideration before any changes are made.
At the intensive level residential treatment centers (2), we are dependent on Supervisors and other Leadership staff who must work flexible schedules supervising direct care staff on shift schedules. The treatment programs are "residential", which means that the children and youth we are treating live at the facility 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year…Within our therapeutic foster care and adoption program (Child-Placing Agency), services are provided in homes scattered throughout the northwest, central part of Texas to families that need support and supervision available 24-hours a day…Both of these examples (and several others) require independent work, a flexible work schedule and reliance on independent judgment…if the proposed rule is approved, there is no way that New Horizons or any other non-profit agency doing this critical work can afford to continue this level of support…In conclusion, New Horizons cannot absorb the fiscal note attached to the proposed Department of Labor (DOL) overtime rule changes...Any adjustments should be gradually phased in to allow time for organizations to prepare and must include some type of assurance that the state agency adjusts reimbursement accordingly.”
Liberty Resources “Liberty Resources is a 501(c)(3) organization providing human services throughout New York and Texas. Our services include: domestic violence shelter; homeless housing; residential and non-residential mental health services; primary care; services for adolescents and adults with an intellectual disability; residential and non-residential substance use disorder services; and, child welfare and juvenile justice services. We thank DOL for your attention to the important issue of raising wages for lower-paid American workers, and we strongly regret that we are unable to support the proposed rule in its current form. As written, the rule would have a potentially devastating effect on health care organizations—like ours—serving low-income individuals with serious and persistent mental illnesses and addictions. This would result in the need for service cutbacks and program closures.”
Betty Hardwick Center “Betty Hardwick Center is a Community Mental Health Center, serving as the public provider for a 5 county area in West Central Texas…Betty Hardwick Center serves low-income and uninsured populations whose cost of care is covered primarily by Medicaid or state and local general funds…DOL’s proposal to double the overtime pay exemption threshold would place a massive new burden on organizations already struggling to stay in business. Moreover, linking the threshold to inflation would force employers into perennially chasing a rising salary target—without any ability to raise state-determined payment rates or otherwise ensure revenue increases to offset these changes. Provider organizations will be squeezed more tightly with every year that goes by; many will be forced to close programs and lay off staff, resulting in fewer clients served and reduced access to critical mental health and addiction services for individuals in need. Betty Hardwick Center agrees that modernizing and updating the FLSA exemption regulations is long overdue; yet, the way behavioral health providers’ payment rates are set places us in the unfortunate position of being unable to support this proposal. The untenable financial pressure resulting from the proposed changes would force us into disastrous service reductions and program closures.”