Overtime Rule Victory; Now Tax Reform Tops NFIB Priority List

(September 20, 2017) — The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) is applauding a decision by a federal judge in Texas to strike down the Department of Labor’s overtime rule, which the association asserts would have overburdened small businesses with heightened labor expenses by making millions of workers qualify for overtime pay. In an expedited summary judgement, the ruling made permanent the temporary injunction the court had imposed last November.

Originally scheduled to take effect last December, the Obama administration overtime rule would have enabled 4.2 million employees to be eligible for time-and-a-half wages for every hour worked over the standard 40 hours a week. NFIB comments that if the rule had been allowed to stand it would have driven up the cost of doing business for employers across the country.

The regulation would have doubled the salary threshold below which employees are eligible for mandatory overtime. According to NFIB research, 44% of small businesses employ at least one person who would have been eligible under the rule. The association led a coalition of business groups in a lawsuit against the regulation. Following the early September Texas court ruling, the Department of Justice asked the court to dismiss its appeal of the earlier decision to issue a temporary injunction, “Which means the overtime rule as written by the Obama administration is dead,” says NFIB.

The association adds that Congress has returned from its summer recess to a crowded calendar. By the end of this month it must pass a financing mechanism to avoid a government shutdown. The clock is ticking on tax reform as well, something the White House and Republican leaders say they want to pass this year.

Tax reform is now NFIB’s top priority. Five of the top 15 concerns for small business owners are related to taxes, according to the association’s Small Business Problems and Priorities Survey. “The U.S. Tax Code puts small businesses at a disadvantage; they often pay a higher top rate than large corporations. The disparity drains resources and erodes profitability. The code is also complicated, forcing businesses to spend hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars annually just to comply.”

(SOURCE: The Weekly Propane Newsletter, Sept. 18, 2017)