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Congress Expresses Concern Over Pending Overtime Regulations

Posted in: Legislative Updates

Last month, Congress took action with regards to the pending change to the rules for paying employees overtime. On February 9, a bipartisan group of 108 members of Congress sent a letter to Department of Labor (DOL) Secretary Perez expressing concern about DOL’s proposed overtime rule. On February 12, Reps. John Kline (R-MN) and Tim Walberg (R-MI) sent a letter to Sec. Perez requesting information, documents, and materials regarding DOL’s outreach and decision to not extend the comment period for the proposed overtime rule.

 

The proposed rule, which was issued last summer, would alter which “white collar” workers would be eligible to receive overtime, which means it would affect the management teams and other staff within an electrical contractor’s operations. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) currently entitles “blue collar” employees, such as electricians, overtime pay. The DOL’s proposals would require those white collar employees making less than $970 per week or $50,440 annually be paid overtime. This is a significant increase over current law, which requires paying overtime to employees making less than $455 per week or $23,660 annually. Furthermore, the proposed rule includes automatic annual increases to the salary threshold based either on the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers or by pegging the salary threshold to the 40th percentile for weekly earnings of all full time, non-hourly (i.e. salaried) employees. IEC issued its own set of comments and also joined over 130 organizations on comments from the Partnership to Protect Workplace Opportunity coalition.

IEC will continue to work with its coalition partners in opposition to the proposal.