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Employee Overtime Rule Would Cost Manufacturers

An overtime pay rule proposed last week by the Biden administration could cost employers—including manufacturers—up to $664 million over a decade, according to Inc. magazine.

What’s going on: A draft regulation set forth last week by the Labor Department “would require employers to provide overtime pay to salaried workers who earn less than $1,059 per week, or around $55,000 per year. The current overtime threshold is $35,568. The Labor Department is responsible for setting the threshold that requires employers to pay out overtime.​”

  • In compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act, many companies already pay overtime to hourly employees who work more than 40 hours a week. While the FLSA doesn’t apply to salaried workers, the new requirement would.

Why it’s problematic: If the rule goes into effect, its cost to employers could be as high as “$664 million (with a 7 percent discount rate) over a 10-year period,” according to the Labor Department—and that’s a price manufacturers can ill afford, according to the NAM.

  • “Manufacturers have spent the past several years adapting operations and personnel management resources to meet the evolving needs of their workforce in a post-pandemic environment, including through improved wages and benefits and productive workplace accommodations,” said NAM Managing Vice President of Policy Chris Netram.
  • “The … proposed rule would inject new regulatory burdens and compliance costs to an industry already reeling from workforce shortages and an onslaught of other unbalanced regulations.”

What’s next: Once published in the Federal Register, the draft regulation will be subject to a 60-day public comment period. 

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