The eastern facade of the US Capitol Building, Washington DC
The eastern facade of the US Capitol Building, Washington DC

Lawmakers in Washington apparently are listening to calls from business groups — including those within the CPA profession — to soften the blow of the Department of Labor’s new overtime rule.

The rule, scheduled to go into effect on Dec. 1, would increase the salary threshold for overtime exemption from $455 per week (or $23,600 per year) to $913 per week ($47,476 per year). Put another way, if the rule takes effect, anyone who makes less than $47,476 per year would be eligible to receive overtime pay. That means an additional 4.2 million salaried workers could receive overtime pay for any work they do above and beyond 40 hours per week.

The House of Representatives, however, wants to put the brakes to the bill.

The House has passed the Regulatory Relief for Small Businesses, Schools, and Non-Profits Act, which would delay the implementation of the new overtime rule for six months.

Supporters of the bill argue that “the rule should be delayed to give employers and employees time to adjust, and (to give) the next president an opportunity to put an end to harmful regulations,” TheHill.com reports.

The bill now moves on to the Senate. President Obama has threatened to veto the bill.

The MACPA testified in April to the Office of Management and Budget in opposition to the overtime rule, then joined the AICPA and more than 100 other business groups in supporting the Overtime Reform and Enhancement Act, which calls for a three-year phase-in of the rule as a way to ease the compliance burden on businesses. That bill is still in its early stages in the House.

In other words, the overtime rule’s saga continues. Stay tuned.

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