WASHINGTON – Today, the House Education and the Workforce Committee’s Subcommittee on Workforce Protections will hold a hearing entitled “Federal Wage and Hour Policies in the Twenty-First Century.” This is the subcommittee’s first hearing of 2017. On Tuesday, the Subcommittee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions held a hearing entitled “Restoring the Balance and Fairness to the National Labor Relations Board.” More hearings on these topics are expected as the full committee embarks on a holistic review of federal interventions in the employer-employee relationship.
Today’s hearing is expected to largely focus on the currently stayed overtime rule issued by the Obama administration’s Department of Labor (DOL) last year. That rule, which would more than double the salary threshold for the so-called “white collar exemptions,” was put on hold by a federal judge in the Eastern District of Texas just before it was scheduled to go into effect in December 2016. That hold remains in place pending the outcome of challenges to the rule as they wind their way through the court system.
NACS partnered with SIGMA to submit testimony for the hearing record, which incorporated the comments NACS had filed with the DOL in 2015 on their proposed rule. While NACS and SIGMA both recognized that the rule is certainly prime for being updated, concerns remain that the DOL went much too far in its final rule in more than doubling the salary threshold.
“While NACS and SIGMA were supportive of DOL’s objective to update the overtime salary threshold, we believe the final rule will have substantial adverse effects on the retail fuel industry,” the testimony read in part. “The final rule contained questionable methodology and lacked adequate economic analysis, especially with respect to the disparate impact the rule will have on small businesses, those in the retail industry, and those in rural areas.”
NACS government relations staff will monitor the hearing and report any significant developments. We will also continue to monitor any actions Congress takes on overtime or other federal actions in the wage and hour space on behalf of our members.