The Society for Human Resource Management has told the Department of Labor that the Obama administration’s proposed changes in overtime regulations will not only burden management but be a detriment to the workers they intend to help.
The change proposed by the DOL would raise the threshold for exempting employees from overtime pay from $23,660 to $50,440.
SHRM contends that many workers who currently earn below the proposed threshold would not all of a sudden begin making more money if the changes are put in place. Instead, the HR organization predicts that employers will impose stricter work hours in order to limit overtime. The result, argues SHRM, would be “reduced workplace flexibility and access to opportunities to gain experience” as well as a “loss of professional status.”
The organization is basing its assertions on a survey of member employers, 70 percent of whom said that a change in OT classifications would mean that their employees would have fewer opportunities to work overtime.
SHRM insists it supports the idea of changing overtime rules to allow some higher-paid workers to qualify for overtime wages. But it says the new reclassification is too drastic a change.
“While DOL’s proposal acknowledges that the proposed rule may have some adverse effect on employees, the consequences of reclassification are not considered in any depth,” Mike Aitken, SHRM’s vice president of government affairs, wrote in comments to the DOL. “Of course, the department could mitigate the impact of these negative consequences by more appropriately setting the salary threshold so that it serves as a reasonable proxy for those employees unlikely to pass the duties test.”
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About the Author
Will has enjoyed a 20-year career in leadership positions in the hospitality and travel industry throughout the U.S. with the Hyatt, Sheraton, Hilton, Renaissance and Steamboat Ski and Resort corporations. Will received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. From 2000-2007, he served as President and CEO of the Greater Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce. He also served as Vice President-Special Projects for the University of Colorado Foundation from 2007 to 2009. Will is a past Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Homeland Defense Foundation and former member of the United States Chamber of Commerce Committee of 100. He is married to Nan, has five wonderful children, and enjoys coaching, traveling, hiking, golfing and skiing.