WASHINGTON (May 19, 2016) — Small business associations are panning the U.S. Department of Labor's final rule expanding overtime pay benefits for U.S. workers, saying the regulation will be prohibitively expensive.
Issued May 18, the rule doubles the salary threshold at which salaried workers are entitled to time-and-a-half, to $47,776 from $23,660. The proposed rule had set $50,400 as the threshold.
“The updates will impact 4.2 million workers who will either gain new overtime protections or get a raise to the new salary threshold,” the agency said.
It is a misperception that the only choice for employers under the new standard is to change salaried workers to hourly workers, the Labor Department said on its website.
Instead, the agency said, employers have a wide range of options, including:
- Raising salaries and keeping salaried employees exempt from overtime;
- Paying overtime in addition to salaries when necessary; or
- Evaluating and realigning hours and staff workload, including hiring more workers as necessary.
“Nothing in the Fair Labor Standards Act — or in the overtime rule — requires the choice between flexible work arrangements or opportunities for career advancement and complying with basic labor standards,” the agency said.