By Eric B. Meyer
A lot has been written over the past week few weeks since the U.S. Department of Labor announced its proposed change to the overtime rules.
Both sides of overtime coin
For example, there’s this article I read yesterday on The Washington Post website supporting the Labor Department’s proposal. The authors suggest that, while the new changes in the overtime rules may result in less overtime worked and may not spike the earnings of the current workforce, the new rules may create over 100,000 new straight-time (hourly) jobs.
Chris Opfer, writing for Bloomberg Law, reports that during panel discussions yesterday with Capitol Hill staffers, advocates for the new overtime rules noted that companies risk cratering employee morale and decreased employee productivity if they try to convert salaried employees to hourly workers, and drop the hourly rate to offset the effect of paying overtime to previously exempt employees.
Another report from the National Retail Federation suggests that the new overtime rules will end up costing employers billions. I may not be the smartest employment-lawyer blogger in the world, but I know that when employee overhead rises, business will need to compensate in other ways, such as with fewer new hires, or layoffs, or business closures.
Time to be heard
If you feel strongly about the new proposed overtime rules, we are in the midst of a 60-day comment period before the proposal is finalized. If you want to comment on the proposed changes, you can do so here. If you operate a business and you need some help with talking points, SHRM has your back here.
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The final regulations won’t go into effect until sometime in 2016. But, when they do, I can’t imagine any other change in the law having a greater impact on your workplace.
This was originally published on Eric B. Meyer’s blog, The Employer Handbook.