For Immediate Release
October 1, 2020
HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry President Gene Barr issued the following statement in response to an announcement that the Wolf Administration plans to move forward with a divisive overtime expansion proposal that could harm both employers and employees at a time when they can least afford it.
“This proposal has been controversial since a federal version from President Obama was opposed by a large and diverse coalition and ultimately struck down by an Obama-appointed judge. An equally broad coalition of Pennsylvania employers spoke out when Gov. Wolf advanced a similar proposal.
“We urge the Governor to recognize that this policy cannot be considered in a vacuum: many employers most adversely impacted - including nonprofit organizations, colleges and universities, restaurants and small retailers - are also among those who have been hit hardest by the pandemic, business shutdown and economic fallout. Imposing additional costs and removing workplace flexibility is detrimental to employers already struggling and just adds one more obstacle on Pennsylvania’s path to economic recovery.
“The proposal will harm many workers as well. Employers unable to absorb additional costs will be forced to shift salaried employees into hourly positions so that hours can be tracked and capped to avoid overtime costs. Employees may technically be eligible for overtime pay, yet they lose the flexibility and predictability that comes with earning a salary with no guarantee of additional wages.
“Given these factors and the unprecedented economic challenges the state is currently facing, we urge the Governor to consider the true impact of the proposal and stop it from moving forward.”
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.