The House of Representatives Sept. 29 approved, 246 to 177, the Regulatory Relief for Small Businesses, Schools, and Nonprofits Act (H.R. 6094), which would delay for six months the enforcement of the Department of Labor (DOL) overtime final rule until June 1, 2017. The DOL final rule was scheduled to go into effect Dec. 1, 2016 [see Washington Highlights, May 20]. The White House Sept. 27 issued a Statement of Administration Policy strongly opposing H.R. 6094, indicating President Obama would veto the bill if sent to his desk.
Senators James Lankford (R-Tenn.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), and Susan Collins (R-Maine) Sept. 29 introduced a companion measure in the other Chamber. Also on Sept. 29, Senators Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) joined the companion sponsors in introducing more comprehensive legislation, the Overtime Reform and Review Act. This bill would:
Phase in increases to the salary threshold over a five year period;
Prohibit increases in 2017 to allow for a Government Accountability Office (GAO) study;
Prevent future automatic increases; and
Exempt certain non-profit and state/local government employers from future increases unless DOL and the independent Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy certify that the 2016 change does not “increase part-time work, or negatively impact workplace flexibility, workplace benefits, career advancement opportunity, or job growth.”
The Senate will have an opportunity to consider a delay in the DOL overtime rule when it returns for the lame-duck session.