HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry President and CEO Gene Barr issued the following statement on the Pennsylvania General Assembly’s vote to block an onerous final overtime rule that would have hurt Pennsylvania businesses:
“The damage the Department of Labor and Industry’s Overtime Rule could have caused to Pennsylvania businesses cannot be overstated,” Barr noted, “Increasing the overtime salary threshold by over 92 percent in around two years would have been a death knell for many businesses already struggling to recover from the pandemic, namely small business owners and non-profits. I applaud House Speaker Bryan Cutler for his prioritization on fixing this disastrous regulation, and our organization looks forward to continuing our important work with state lawmakers and advancing our mission of Bringing PA Back.”
Liz Hays, Director of Human Resources for MHY Family Services, a nonprofit organization based in Butler County that serves at-risk youth and their families through residential and community-based programming, also addressed the potential effects of the rule:
“To say that the reversal of the state overtime rule is welcome news would be grossly understated. MHY Family Services has worked vigorously to respond to market conditions, notably so over the past two years, and still we faced serious fiscal concerns with the looming adjustments that the overtime rule would have imposed,” added Hays, “We’re relieved, and with that very grateful, that our concerns not only were heard but responded to as we continue to address the many challenges that so many employers are facing at this time.”
Mercyhurst University General Counsel and Vice President for Legal Affairs Meredith Bollheimer, Esq. added:
“The university is glad to hear that an agreement has been reached between the Governor and the legislature that will result in more uniformity between the federal and state overtime rules.”
Background: In 2019, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry submitted a Final Form Regulation with several significant changes to overtime eligibility standards. Many employers reported they would be unable to afford the higher costs associated with the near doubling of the overtime salary threshold and would be forced to convert salaried employees to hourly workers so hours could be tracked and capped each week. Employees also expressed concern at the prospect of losing their salaried status and their positions’ flexibility and benefits. The PA Chamber has led a diverse coalition to oppose the rule, including organizations in the nonprofit community, higher education, healthcare institutions and the restaurant industry.