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Small Businesses Hoping for a Delay of New Overtime Rules

By Christopher Coble, Esq. on September 15, 2016 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Last summer, the Obama administration announced plans to expand overtime pay benefits for workers to cover employees earning up to $47,000. This summer, the Labor Department announced the new overtime rule is official, and they would go into effect on December 1. But that still might not be enough time for some small businesses to be ready, argues the National Federation of Independent Business.

The NFIB contends that small businesses "can't just flip a switch and be in compliance," and is asking for a delay in implementing the rule until June 1 of 2017. But they don't sound likely to get it.

Not Ready for Overtime

Despite nearly two years of warning, the NFIB says that large corporations with "lawyers, accountants and human resources specialists" who are familiar with legal federal notices "may prove able to cope with the new (rule) in a 25 week window of time ... But the department cannot reasonably expect America's small businesses to match them."

The new rule is expected to expand overtime coverage to an additional 4.2 million workers, and the NFIB estimates that could impact about 2.5 million small businesses. "In many cases, small businesses must reorganize their work forces and implement new systems for tracking hours, record keeping, and reporting," NFIB president Juanita Duggan told USAToday.

Deadline Looming

Despite the protests of the nation's leading small business trade group, the Labor Department doesn't look like it will budge on the December 1 deadline for implementation. "America's workers have waited long enough for a fair days pay for a long days work," said David Weil, administrator of the department's wage and hour division in a statement. Weil also noted that the start date "is a sufficient amount of time (more than six months) for employers to adjust to the new salary level," and that the 190 days small businesses have been given to comply is "more than three times what's legally required."

If you're having trouble bringing your small business into compliance with the new overtime rules, or need legal guidance on compliance, you can contact an experienced employment attorney in your area.

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