WASHINGTON — Legislation introduced recently by Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.), which would push back the looming deadline for the Department of Labor or DOL Overtime Rule, should be an urgent priority for the Senate, according to the National Federation of Independent Business or NFIB today.
“It’s impossible for many small businesses to meet the December 1 deadline, and the clock is ticking,” said Juanita Duggan, NFIB President and CEO. “In just a few weeks, many thousands of small businesses could face heavy penalties for being out of compliance. NFIB is demanding that the Senate take action immediately.”
Lankford, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) as original cosponsors, introduced legislation that would delay the compliance date of the new DOL Overtime Rule until June 1, 2017.
The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed identical legislation.
If the Senate fails to pass the bill, small business owners will have only until Dec. 1 to identify eligible employees, restructure payroll systems and potentially convert salaried workers into hourly employees.
“Small employers typically do not have HR departments and compliance professionals to help them implement massive new rules like this,” Duggan said. “Complying with this regulation will be complicated, time-consuming, and expensive. It’s hugely problematic for a wide range of employers, including small businesses, universities and colleges, local governments and nonprofit organizations.”
A coalition of business groups, including NFIB, and a coalition of 21 states filed separate lawsuits last week asking a federal court to block the Overtime Rule. NFIB also filed a petition requesting that the DOL delay the compliance deadline until June 1, 2017, giving small business owners a crucial six-month extension.
“Small businesses are very grateful that Sen. Lankford, Sen. Collins, and Sen. Alexander introduced this delay, and we strongly urge the Senate to make this a high priority,” Duggan said. “Every Senator who says that they’re a supporter of small business needs to vote for this bill before Congress breaks for recess.”
For more information about NFIB, please visit www.nfib.com/overtime.