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National Restaurant Association - Wanted: Your thoughts on possible wage, overtime changes

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Wanted: Your thoughts on possible wage, overtime changes

Do you want to tell federal agencies how a $10.10 minimum wage for federal contractors and possible changes to overtime rules would affect your restaurant? If so, now’s your chance.

The Small Business Administration advocacy office is conducting roundtables this month for small business owners to discuss those two issues, and the National Restaurant Association is looking for restaurant operators to take part in the meetings. David Weil, administrator of the Labor Department's Wage and Hour Division, will speak on overtime and listen to feedback from small business owners.

The roundtable on minimum wage is set for 2 p.m. ET, Tuesday, July 8. The overtime roundtables are set for 10 a.m. ET July 11 and July 18. All sessions will be held at the SBA in Washington, D.C., but participants may call in. Here’s the rundown of the issues:

  • Minimum wage for federal contractors: In response to President Obama’s executive order, the Labor Department last month issued a proposed rule calling for a $10.10 minimum wage for federal contractors, with automatic annual increases according to inflation. That's nearly 30 percent higher than the current $7.25 minimum wage. The rule also calls for a minimum cash wage of $4.90 for tipped employees, up from the $2.13, and would increase it 95 cents a year until it reaches 70 percent of the minimum wage. Some restaurant companies say the increase will force them to close restaurants on military bases and other federal properties. 
  • Overtime: The department, following up on a presidential memorandum, recently said it hoped to release a proposal by November to revise federal rules that govern which employees must be paid overtime when they work more than 40 hours in a week. Any changes could have major implications for restaurants and all employers. It could be particularly problematic if the rules don’t recognize that restaurant managers often fill multiple roles on the job. In many cases, those managers are exempt from current overtime requirements.

The NRA has met with Labor Department officials on these topics, but it’s time for restaurateurs to tell their stories.

For information about participating in the roundtables, contact Matt Walker, NRA vice president, policy and government affairs.

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