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The National Retail Federation highlighted the negative consequences of Obama’s proposal to expand overtime

WASHINGTON, 2016-Apr-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation today increased pressure on the Obama Administration to rethink its proposal to expand overtime and more than double the threshold at which a job can become a salaried career-track position. In a meeting with administration officials and a letter to Congress, NRF highlighted the negative consequences such an extreme change would have on the American workplace for generations to come.

“On behalf of the nation’s retail industry, the National Retail Federation urges you to consider cosponsoring the Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act,” Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French wrote in a letter to all members of the House and Senate.

“The Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act would provide an important pause in the rulemaking process and require DOL to complete critical analysis of the impacts on businesses, lower-cost regions of the country, non-profit and public sector employers and healthcare providers as well as the non-financial costs incurred by these employers,” French said. “These are studies that DOL should have undertaken before issuing the proposed rules and on which the public deserves an opportunity to comment.”

Retailers will meet this afternoon with the Office of Management and Budget to discuss the negative impacts of the proposed overtime regulations. OMB is currently reviewing the proposal in one of the last steps before a final version is released by the Department of Labor.

An Oxford Economics study commissioned by NRF estimated that DOL’s plan would affect 2.2 million workers in the retail and restaurant industries alone and cost businesses $8.4 billion a year in added wages if fully implemented. Yet, given the tight economy, Oxford found employers would be forced to compensate for these increased payroll costs by reducing bonuses and benefits, replacing full-time employees with part-time workers, and converting salaried employees to clock-punchers with less flexibility or fewer career development opportunities.

Nonetheless, employers would see an estimated $745 million in administrative costs even if workers saw no increase in take-home pay.

The Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act was introduced last month by Senator Tim Scott, R-S.C., and Representative Tim Walberg, R-Mich., with Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and House Education and Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline, R-Minn., as cosponsors. The legislation would require the Labor Department to conduct a comprehensive economic analysis on the impact of the proposed overtime expansion on small businesses, nonprofits, and public employers before publishing the final rules.

More resources on the impact of the proposed rules are available at

NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs — 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s This is Retail campaign highlights the industry’s opportunities for life-long careers, how retailers strengthen communities, and the critical role that retail plays in driving innovation.

Robin Roberts
(855) NRF-Press

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