Retailers Welcome Legislation to Halt Proposed DOL Overti

The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) issued the following statement in response to the introduction of legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate to delay publication of a rule expected from the Department of Labor (DOL) that would dramatically change the rules governing overtime pay.  

The Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act, introduced by Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Representative Tim Walberg (R-Mich.), and Representative John Kline (R-Minn.), would require DOL to first conduct a comprehensive economic analysis on the impact of mandatory overtime expansion, specifically on small businesses, non-profits and public employers. 

“Retailers welcome the introduction of this commonsense legislation. The legislation introduced today would simply require that DOL better understand the real impact of the rule before moving forward,” said Kelly Kolb, vice president for government affairs. “While a review of the current overtime threshold is justifiable, the sudden and dramatic changes proposed by the Department of Labor are not. The proposed rule could undermine many of the things that retail employees value, including flexibility and upward mobility.” 

RILA detailed its objections to the proposed rule in comments submitted to DOL last year. 

Excerpts below and full comments available here.  

“RILA agrees with the President that certain aspects of the white collar exemptions “have not kept up with our modern economy” and should be “modernize[d] and streamline[d].” Nonetheless, RILA does not agree that, that the proposed rule will either “modernize” or “streamline” the application of the exemptions.”  

“The proposed rule would set the threshold salary above that earned by many bona fide exempt retail managers and would set in motion a self-perpetuating ladder of increases that bear no reasonable connection to exempt status or prevailing market conditions.  In addition, the changes to the duties tests that the Secretary is considering—but has not yet proposed—would embed outdated and inflexible concepts in the rules and foster confusion for employers and employees alike, leading to increased cost, burden and litigation without any meaningful benefit.” 


RILA is the trade association of the world’s largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad. 

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