The National Retail Federation (NRF) is speaking out in favor of the The Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act, which was introduced in Congress on March 17, and aims to delay the Department of Labor (DOL)’s proposal to more than double the salary threshold for workers who qualify for overtime pay.
The new bill looks to require would require DOL to first conduct a comprehensive economic analysis on the impact of mandatory overtime expansion, specifically on small businesses, non-profits and public employers before it could issue a final version of the regulations.
“Retailers want to help their workers succeed. But we believe careers are the answer, not time clocks,” said David French, senior vice president for government relations for NRF.
“The government’s extreme new regulations would be a career-killer for retail middle managers trying to move up the professional ladder,” French said. “What’s more, this one-size-fits-all mandate doesn’t work in rural areas where income and the cost of living are lower. We strongly support congressional efforts to push the pause button on this poorly thought-out plan to turn salaried professionals into clock-punchers with less flexibility and fewer career development opportunities.”
“Retailers want to help their workers succeed,” French said. “But we believe careers are the answer, not time clocks.”
The Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act was introduced today by Senator Tim Scott, R-S.C., and Representative Tim Walberg, R-Mich., with Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and House Education and Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline, R-Minn., as lead cosponsors. An NRF study conducted by the research firm Oxford Economics found that raising the overtime threshold would not result in a change in net pay for most employees. Instead, many employees would see their hours reduced so overtime would not be worked, while others would see their base wages, benefits or bonus pay decreased in order the offset the added payroll expense.
The study also found that updating payroll systems, establishing ways to track employee hours and other administrative expenses would cost the restaurant and retail industries alone an estimated $745 million even if workers saw no additional take-home pay.