For Immediate Release
January 17, 2018
HARRISBURG - PA Chamber of Business and Industry’s President and CEO Gene Barr issued the following statement regarding Gov. Tom Wolf’s announcement of changes to the Commonwealth’s overtime eligibility rules for employees. Wolf’s proposal would dramatically change overtime eligibility rules imposed on Pennsylvania employers by requiring a wage threshold that is more than double the current rate set by the federal government.
“This proposal may be well-intentioned but the fact is it will have a negative impact on employment and will ultimately hurt many of the workers it’s intended to help. The federal government proposed a similar policy shift a few years ago and the response from employers was swift and deeply negative, particularly among small businesses, nonprofit organizations, higher education institutions and the health service industry, among others. Employers not only described significant increases to the cost of providing services or doing businesses, but also the reality that this dramatic change would damage workplace culture and morale, as employees would be shifted from earning a salary to being paid by the hour. This transition typically requires employees to start clocking in and out, more burdensome record-keeping, less flexibility, a rigid work schedule, and fewer training opportunities and benefits.
“Expanding eligibility for overtime pay does not guarantee higher income if employees are shifted to hourly and restricted from working over forty hours in a week. Former salary workers might actually find take-home pay decrease if they work less than forty hours on any given week or must clock out for a doctor’s appointment or to leave work early; when before their salary was guaranteed. For all these reasons, Pennsylvania employers applauded when a Federal judge halted the proposed federal rule. It is unfortunate that an even more drastic rule is now being proposed at the state-level.
“Pennsylvania’s overly onerous tax and regulatory climate already pose significant challenges to the state’s business community. Instead of placing additional burdens on the Commonwealth’s employers, our elected officials should be implementing pro-growth policies that will help to improve the state’s competitive edge, allowing the private sector to thrive and fostering additional job creation.”
The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is the state's largest broad-based business association, with its statewide membership comprising businesses of all sizes and across all industry sectors. The PA Chamber is The Statewide Voice of BusinessTM.