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National Restaurant Association - Senate eyes delay, update of new overtime rule

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Senate eyes delay, update of new overtime rule

Restaurateurs today joined in praising two new Senate bills that would delay or modify the new federal overtime rule that's scheduled to take effect Dec. 1, 2016.

The Regulatory Relief for Small Businesses, Schools and Nonprofits Act and the Overtime Reform and Review Act  would offer a six-month delay of the Dec. 1 implementation deadline and make much-needed modifications to the Department of Labor’s new overtime regulation.

In a statement today, the National Restaurant Association praised the senators who introduced the bills, including Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), along with Senators James Lankford (R-Okla.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine). “Delaying the implementation date, allowing for a more gradual phase-in period, eliminating automatic indexing and carefully studying the impact this rule will have is crucial for small businesses navigating yet another burdensome regulation.”

The DOL's overtime rule is currently set to more than double the salary threshold for nonexempt employees as of Dec. 1, 2016, and require automatic increases every three years starting in 2020.

The senators have proposed multiple changes. The Overtime Reform and Review Act would phase in the salary threshold over five years and include a “pause year” after the first year to give federal agencies a chance to assess the regulation's impact and possibly exempt certain entities from further increases based on that assessment. The bill would also prohibit automatic indexing of the salary threshold in the future. The Regulatory Relief for Small Businesses, Schools and Nonprofits Act would provide a six-month delay in implementation, similar to legislation (H.R. 6094) passed by the House Sept. 28.

The Department of Labor’s updated federal overtime regulation is expected to take effect Dec. 1. The National Restaurant Association has been working closely with members of Congress to find solutions for our members as restaurateurs  navigate this complex rule. With the passage of H.R. 6094 in the House and the introduction of legislation in the Senate, the Association is asking the Senate and the Administration to listen to the concerns of small businesses and act quickly.

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