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Overtime Rule Heating Up on Capitol Hill significant outreach from the SHRM A-Team, an impressive 108 bipartisan members of Congress signed a congressional support letter to Department of Labor (DOL) Secretary Tom Perez (pictured at left with SHRM President & CEO Hank Jackson) expressing serious concerns with the proposed overtime rule. In the letter, congressional leaders urged the DOL to reconsider moving forward with the rule as drafted, noting the unintended consequences for both employees and employers. Lawmakers also noted that the proposal does not clearly explain the DOL’s plan regarding the duties test. The secretary is urged to not make substantive changes to the duties test without first making a specific proposal available for notice and comment.

    SHRM, as chair of the Partnership to Protect Workplace Opportunity, spearheaded a letter to Congress expressing similar concerns with the overtime proposal, which was signed by 30 public-sector groups representing state and local governments, public schools, and public institutions of higher education. In that letter, public-sector stakeholders explained how the functions and operations of state and local governments (many of which are still recovering from the recession) will be negatively impacted by the 113 percent salary threshold increase proposed.

    In a related development, House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) and Subcommittee on Workforce Protections Chairman Tim Walberg (R-MI) sent a letter to Perez requesting documentation detailing the department’s outreach efforts to the public prior to publishing its proposed overtime rule last summer. In so doing, they appear to imply that the DOL rushed the process in proposing the rule—something SHRM attempted to address when it requested that the department provide additional time for the public to submit comment on the rule. That request, as well as others submitted by members of the business community, was denied. 

    Stay tuned for more information about legislative proposals SHRM is developing in response to the overtime rule. And be sure to join us for next month’s SHRM Employment Law & Legislative Conference, scheduled for March 14-16 in Washington, D.C., so you can directly advocate in person with your elected officials in Congress on the overtime rule!