Editorials

Editorials

Arkansans regularly share with me their concerns about the Obama administration’s directives and the heavy handed regulations with which they are forced to comply. The Department of Labor’s (DOL) recent update of the federal overtime rule is the latest in a long line of overreach by the administration that threatens jobs in our state. This rule increases the salary threshold under which employees qualify for overtime pay ­from $23,660 to $47,476. 

Marion County Quorum Court recently passed a resolution requesting that the Arkansas Attorney General file suit against DOL regarding its overtime rule update that is set to take effect Dec. 1. The court’s concern is echoed across the state with other county quorum courts passing similar resolutions of their own. I’ve heard concerns from small business owners, commercial employers and employees from all corners of our state about the negative impact this overreaching and complex rule will have on their livelihoods. They are worried that this will force them to cut employees’ hours or wages in order to comply.

I’m fighting this overreach in Washington as a cosponsor of the Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act. This legislation ensures DOL pursues a balanced and responsible approach to updating federal overtime rules by conducting an economic analysis on the impact of a mandatory overtime increase on employers including small businesses, nonprofits and public employers.

This summer, I helped introduced legislation under the Congressional Review Act to block implementation of this rule. While we do need to modernize our overtime rules, DOL’s approach is irresponsible and has the potential to stifle job creation and innovation while limiting opportunities for our nation’s youth to enter into the workforce with advanced degrees at a time when our economy is still trying to recover from an historic recession.

By failing to take into account input from all stakeholders, the Obama administration’s proposed rule has the potential to harm American workers. Working class families are already grappling with stagnant wages and cannot afford to lose income and hours on the job.

Colleges and universities cannot comply with this new rule without layoffs, cuts to student services and possible tuition increases at a time when college affordability and student debt is already a serious problem. 

This is a fight worth having because Arkansans, and all Americans, need wage stability and security, which this top-down regulation threatens to undermine. Burdensome regulations hurt our economy and negatively impact the jobs of hardworking Arkansans. 

We need to pursue policies that help employees, employers, nonprofits, colleges and universities instead of this reckless approach that fails American workers and our economy.

Originally posted: http://harrisondaily.com/opinion/guest-column-counties-rightfully-concerned-about-obama-administration-s-overtime/article_26bf05dc-714d-11e6-8273-e7c28883d27b.html?mode=jqm