Proposed Overtime Rules Could Cripple Small Business in America

By: Christine Ross, MBA, MS, IOM, President & CEO, Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce and Executive Director, Bonita Springs Estero Economic Development Council

Christine Ross HeadshotThere is a move in Washington by President Obama, using the Executive Order, to change the overtime rules when paying employees.  The existing overtime rule currently states that workers are entitled to overtime compensation if they make up to $23,660 annually or $455 a week. The administration is proposing to more than double this entitlement threshold allowing workers who make up to $50,440 annually or $970 a week to qualify for overtime compensation.

Unfortunately, simply increasing the wage index without developing both long-term, sustainable economic growth, and requirements for higher worker productivity, may create grounds for economic hardship. Can you predict the implications of falling morale of employees who felt pride and freedom when they stepped up to a salaried wage from an hourly pay structure?  Then there is the daily documentation and paperwork that will be involved. How much more manpower will be needed to complete and submit this information?  It is imperative that this suggested scenario be tested, for a significant period of time, so that we may better understand the potential impact it will have on both the employees and employers.

The bottom line for this Chamber of Commerce, dedicated to protecting free enterprise and the success of American business is this; no one should make changes like this, arbitrarily, without consensus from all our elected officials.   Our elected officials need to collect and review data, and analyze the potential impact this will have before moving forward.

For more information on this important topic, there are resources available on our Chamber’s Government Affairs website, www.BonitaSpringsGovernmentAffairs.com.  The articles posted were published by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Society of Human Resource Management, describing the potential impact of the proposed changes.

The deadline for submitting your comments on the proposed plan to change the existing federal overtime rules is very short.  Please make your feeling known by September 4th at the following link http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=WHD-2015-0001.

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