Hatch, Senate Republicans to Administration: Give the Public More Time to Weigh in on Overtime Proposal

Senator Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, member and former chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, alongside current committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) joined a group of Republican senators in urging the administration to give the public “a reasonable opportunity” to review and respond to its proposed rule to make drastic changes to existing overtime eligibility.

On July 6, the Department of Labor issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to make significant changes to existing overtime regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The DOL proposal will more than double the current salary threshold level for exemption from overtime requirements, and automatically update that level annually.

In a letter to Labor Secretary Tom Perez, the Republicans warn that the administration’s proposal would impose heavy burdens on employers in vital industries, from restaurants and retail, to manufacturers and non-profits, impacting their ability to create new jobs and maintain existing ones.

“As written, DOL’s proposal would substantially increase the number of workers who qualify for overtime pay, which presents complex questions that must be carefully considered by impacted individuals and entities across numerous industries, which are vital to our economy. For employers – many of which are small businesses – the process of reviewing the NPRM, weighing its potential administrative burdens, business implications, and compliance concerns, and submitting feedback in writing will be incredibly time consuming. The current 60-day comment period is simply inadequate to properly evaluate DOL’s proposal and complete these important steps,” the senators write.

The letter is signed by Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Tim Scott (R-S.C.) Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), and James Lankford (R-Okla.).

The full text of the letter is online here: