09.04.15

Rounds, Thune Request Extension of Comment Period on Proposed DOL Rule

“The public and stakeholders must be given ample time to review new regulations promulgated by federal agencies, especially one of this magnitude.”

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) today sent a letter to Secretary of Labor Tom Perez requesting a 60-day extension to the public comment period on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on overtime rules announced in July by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).

 

“This massive regulation impacts millions of people, yet your department has only provided 60 days for public comment,” the senators wrote. “The public and stakeholders must be given ample time to review new regulations promulgated by federal agencies, especially one of this magnitude. In 2003, the Department of Labor introduced a proposal that was only 37 pages in length compared to this year’s 100-page proposal, yet it allowed for a more transparent 90-day public comment period.”

Full text of the letter can be found below:

 

The Honorable Tom Perez

Secretary

United States Department of Labor

200 Constitution Avenue Northwest

Washington, DC 20210

Dear Secretary Perez:

We are writing to request a 60-day extension to the public comment period on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on overtime rules announced by the U.S. Department of Labor on July 6, 2015. This rule would extend overtime to salaried employees and could significantly alter the labor market dynamics in industries across the country. The 60-day comment period, which expires on September 4, 2015, is simply not long enough.

Currently, salaried workers earning more than $455 per week are exempt from overtime. The proposed regulation would raise the exemption to $984 per week, meaning over 6 million new workers will be eligible for overtime wages. These proposed overtime rule changes will almost double the amount of people that qualify for overtime pay by increasing the individual salary threshold beyond $50,000, which may lead to unintended consequences on businesses in a variety of industries across the country.

 

This massive regulation impacts millions of people, yet your department has only provided 60 days for public comment. The public and stakeholders must be given ample time to review new regulations promulgated by federal agencies, especially one of this magnitude. In 2003, the Department of Labor introduced a proposal that was only 37 pages in length compared to this year’s 100-page proposal, yet it allowed for a more transparent 90-day public comment period.

 

Employers and others affected by this rule change deserve the opportunity to weigh this regulatory expansion of overtime pay and evaluate how it will affect their employees and weekly working hours, but this takes time. A 60-day extension would provide more time for responses to be included in the public record and allow for greater public involvement.

 

We appreciate your consideration on this matter and look forward to your timely response.

 

Sincerely,

  

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