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Capitol Correspondence - 12.05.23

House Committee Debates Proposed Overtime Rule

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During the recent hearing of the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce’s Subcommittee on Workforce Protections on November 29, discussions over the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) proposed overtime rule revealed sharp disagreements regarding its potential impact on workers.

Supporters contended that the rule, which aims to increase the salary threshold for overtime exemptions, would improve incomes and livelihoods. In contrast, opponents argued that it could lead to job cuts, limit career advancement opportunities, and lower morale among employees.

Subcommittee Chair Representative Kevin Kiley (R-CA) expressed concerns that the proposed rule might force businesses to lay off employees, especially during a period of high inflation and pandemic-related financial losses. Jagruti Panwala, a board member of the American Hotel and Lodging Association, echoed this sentiment, highlighting potential negative impacts on the hotel industry.

On the contrary, Judy Conti from the National Employment Law Project argued that employers have alternatives to layoffs, such as raising salaries, paying overtime, reassessing workloads, hiring additional staff, or giving more hours to part-time workers.

In its comments to DOL, ANCOR expressed support for the rule’s goals but underscored potential unintended repercussions for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) from accessing community-based services. ANCOR’s primary concern centers on the substantial reliance of disability service providers on Medicaid as their sole source of funding.

ANCOR emphasized in its comments that a lack of corresponding adjustments in Medicaid reimbursement rates poses difficulties for providers in raising wages for their workforce. Additionally, altering salary thresholds without additional funding may force I/DD providers into making significant cuts to programs and services. The consequence of such actions would result in reduced access to these critical services for beneficiaries.

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