President Obama said he would call for comments on his overtime pay proposal, but Mr. Littlefield was dubious about the effect such comments would have.
“I think this a case of, ‘Don't confuse me with facts,'” Mr. Littlefield said. “I don't think the comments are going to make a difference.”
Joe Trauger, NAM vice president of human resources policy, said the proposed rule would constitute the demotion of those 5 million workers.
“Manufacturers are proud of the modern workplaces and high salaries they offer the workforce, and this proposed regulation is another in a long list of regulatory roadblocks to healthy and robust economic growth and job creation,” Mr. Trauger said.
David French, NRF senior vice president for government relations, said few workers would actually see more take-home pay from the government directive.
“The administration seems to be under the distorted impression that they can build the middle class by government mandate,” Mr. French said. “Turning managers into rank-and-file hourly workers takes away the career opportunities offered by private sector entrepreneurs and job creators.”
Beth Milito, NFIB senior legal counsel, called the proposed rule too expensive for small retailers, especially in parts of the U.S. where the cost of living is low.
“Promoting someone to manager is going to be an expensive proposition for many small businesses, and the result will be less mobility and fewer opportunities for workers at the bottom,” she said.