Companies, Business Groups Blast Overtime Proposal

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from The Wall Street Journal,

They say it would curtail hours and dent job growth.

Companies and business groups blasted a White House proposal to expand eligibility for overtime pay to around five million more Americans, warning that the move would curtail work hours and dent job growth as employers look for ways to control costs.

The proposed rule, unveiled Tuesday, would raise the salary threshold that generally determines who is eligible for overtime pay to $970 a week, or about $50,400 a year. That would be more than double the current threshold of $455 a week, set in 2004.

The proposal is the fulfillment of an executive order President Barack Obama issued last year to update overtime rules diminished over the years by inflation. At the time, the White House said 12% of salaried workers were below the current threshold, compared with 18% in 2004 and 65% in 1975.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce said the proposal would cause workers to lose benefits and flexibility, and curb career advancement. It “will not guarantee more income, but instead will negatively impact small businesses and drastically limit employment opportunities,” said Randy Johnson, a senior vice president of the group.

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