Not everyone is happy with the new proposed overhaul of current overtime regulations — especially the National Restaurant Association. President Barack Obama noted in an op-ed in the Huffington Post yesterday that more Americans should be eligible to receive overtime pay. He proposed bumping the ceiling from $23,660 a year to $50,440.
The Department of Labor explains the reasoning behind the proposed increase: "A convenience store manager, fast food assistant manager, or some office workers may be expected to work 50 or 60 hours a week or more, making less than the poverty level for a family of four, and not receive a dime of overtime pay."
The National Restaurant Association, a trade organization, released a statement in response to the proposal, essentially calling it a bad idea: "These proposed rules have the potential to radically change industry standards and negatively impact our workforce. As with previous policies put forth by this Administration, we are deeply concerned with the outcome this process will have on the employer community and our employees." The NRA adds that the proposal would eliminate "performance-based incentives" which would make the industry less "appealing."
Last month, the NRA also vehemently opposed New York governor Andrew Cuomo's decision to raise minimum wages without legislative approval. Cuomo announced that he will convene a panel to looking into minimum wage in the fast food industry and make recommendations about what "adequate wages should be." Those recommendations would then be enforced. The NRA responded to the move with hostility, proclaiming that this will "lead to the elimination of many [restaurant jobs]" and that it is "an assault" on the restaurant industry.
See the NRA's statement in full:
Today, the National Restaurant Association issued the following statement regarding the Department of Labor's release of their proposed overhaul to current overtime regulations:
While we are still reviewing the Department of Labor's proposed overtime regulations, at first sign, it seems as if these proposed rules have the potential to radically change industry standards and negatively impact our workforce. As with previous policies put forth by this Administration, we are deeply concerned with the outcome this process will have on the employer community and our employees.
Supporters of these regulations say they want to increase Americans' take-home pay, but these sweeping changes to the rules could mean anything but. More than 80% of restaurant owners and 97% of restaurant managers start their careers in non-managerial positions and move up with new, performance-based incentives. If these regulations stand, that mobility and adaptability of employee schedules, which makes our industry appealing, will be severely diminished.