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September 8, 2015

MSCI, Partnership to Protect Workplace: Overtime Rule Would Harm Employees, Job Creators

The Metals Service Center Institute joined the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors and the Partnership to Protect Workplace Opportunity to submit comments to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) opposing the department’s proposed new overtime regulations. (Click here to read more about the DOL’s proposal.) The comments argued the DOL’s proposal would:

  • Harm the ability of employers to provide, and employees to take advantage of, flexible scheduling options;
  • Result in employees in the same job classification (for the same employer) being treated differently based on regional cost-of-living differences;
  • Limit career advancement opportunities for employees;
  • Decrease morale for those employees who are demoted to non-exempt status, particularly where peers in other locations remain exempt;
  • Reduce employee access to a variety of additional benefits, including incentive pay;
  • Deter employers from providing newly-reclassified employees with mobile devices and remote electronic access, further limiting employee flexibility;
  • Increase Fair Labor Standards Act litigation based on off-the-clock and regular rate of pay claims; and
  • Introduce other legal and operational issues, such as increased administrative costs.

The comments also noted, “The Department’s proposal, in its current state, does little to promote the President’s directive to “modernize” the regulations. At a time when more and more workers seek additional flexibility in their schedules and an ownership stake in their work, the Department’s proposal will return us to a 1940s mentality of clock-punching for all but the most highly paid employees. This result is bad for employees, bad for employers, and bad for the economy.” 

MSCI members can tell their members of Congress that they oppose the DOL rule by visiting the Partnership to Promote Workplace Opportunity website here. The partnership’s website also has detailed explanations of how this proposal would harm employees and job creators. 

The National Association of Manufacturers also submitted comments against the rule. The NAM argued:

  • The proposed salary threshold is grossly out of step with nearly 80 years of historical practice and precedent;
  • The proposed rule fails to account for the extreme effect the proposed salary threshold will have in different regions of the country;
  • The proposed rule fails to address the full impact on employers, particularly small businesses;
  • The contemplated annual revisions to the salary threshold are contrary to the Fair Labor Standards Act and barred by the Administrative Procedure Act;
  • The proposed rule will not raise the earnings of the workers it purports to help;
  • The proposed rule will damage employee morale; and
  • The proposed rule does not support any revision to the primary duties standard or to the concurrent duties concept.