Small businesses seek delay of overtime rule

The nation’s leading small business trade group on Tuesday asked the Labor Department to delay a new rule making millions of Americans eligible for overtime pay, saying employers aren’t prepared to implement it when it goes into effect Dec. 1.

“In many cases, small businesses must reorganize their work forces and implement new systems for tracking hours, record keeping, and reporting,” says NFIB president Juanita Duggan. “They can’t just flip a switch and be in compliance.”

The group is asking for a delay until June 1.

But in a statement, David Weil, administrator of Labor’s wage and hour division, says officials provided businesses 190 days to comply, “more than three times what’s legally required.” He added, “The December 1 implementation date is a sufficient amount of time (more than six months) for employers to adjust to the new salary level.”

“America’s workers have waited long enough for a fair days pay for a long days work.”

The rule, released in May, would double the threshold at which executive, administrative and professional employees are exempt from overtime pay to $47,476 from the current $23,660. It’s expected to make an additional 4.2 million workers eligible to receive time-and-a-half wages for each hour they put in beyond 40 a week.

The requirement will affect about 44% of the 5.5 million U.S. businesses with fewer than 500 employees, NFIB says. About 3.2 million of them employ 10 workers or less.

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