WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The National Retail Federation applauded today’s introduction of legislation in Congress that would delay the Labor Department’s proposal to more than double the salary threshold for workers who qualify for overtime pay.
“The government’s extreme new regulations would be a career-killer for retail middle managers trying to move up the professional ladder,” NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French said. “What’s more, this one-size-fits-all mandate doesn’t work in rural areas where income and the cost of living are lower. We strongly support congressional efforts to push the pause button on this poorly thought-out plan to turn salaried professionals into clock-punchers with less flexibility and fewer career development opportunities.”
“Retailers want to help their workers succeed,” French said. “But we believe careers are the answer, not time clocks.”
The Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act was introduced today by Senator Tim Scott, R-S.C., and Representative Tim Walberg, R-Mich., with Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and House Education and Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline, R-Minn., as lead cosponsors. The measure would require the Labor Department to conduct a comprehensive economic analysis of the impact of proposed overtime expansion on small businesses, nonprofits and public employers before it could issue a final version of the regulations.
An NRF study conducted by the research firm Oxford Economics found that raising the overtime threshold would not result in a change in net pay for most employees. Instead, many employees would see their hours reduced, while others would see their base wages, benefits or bonus pay decreased in order to offset the added payroll expense.
The study also found that updating payroll systems, establishing ways to track employee hours and other administrative expenses would cost the restaurant and retail industries alone an estimated $745 million even if workers saw no additional take-home pay.
NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s This is Retail campaign highlights the industry’s opportunities for life-long careers, how retailers strengthen communities, and the critical role that retail plays in driving innovation. NRF.com