“On an issue where employers recommended moderation and deference to past precedent, the Department unfortunately choose to pursue a controversial and potentially unlawful approach to updating the overtime salary thresholds,” said Evan Armstrong, RILA vice president, workforce.
The proposed rules seek to significantly increase the current standard salary threshold from $684 to $1,059 per week and include an auto-escalator clause that is flawed, unprecedented and exceeds the authority granted to DOL from Congress.
“Leading retailers agree that periodic updates to the overtime threshold are warranted which is why RILA supported an increase in 2017, but any changes to overtime thresholds deserve to be fully vetted and reviewed by the affected regulated communities. Inserting an auto-escalator deprives employers of the opportunity to weigh in on how increases will impact their workforce and it assumes economic conditions will always be improving, which we all know is not reality.
“The Department had an opportunity to propose a reasonable increase to the overtime rules that could have garnered support from the retail industry. Instead, they sought to appease the same political allies behind the failed attempt to update the overtime rules during the Obama administration. This proposal, if finalized, will likely suffer the same fate,” Armstrong said.
RILA’ s comments encourage the DOL to withdraw the auto-escalator and set the salary threshold updates based on reliable and tested methodology.
“Leading retailers urge the Department to reconsider their approach to updating the overtime thresholds. There is no need for this to be so contentious. A practical and reasonable increase to the salary thresholds levels is encouraged. Forcing employers to fight an untenable rule wastes time and distracts retailers from the mission of building a 21st Century Retail Workforce that is diverse, innovative, and skilled.”
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