When the Obama administration passed updated overtime regulations, labor activists and not a small number of economists praised the rules as a blow struck solidly in favor of the working middle class. However, the National Retail Federation is now taking up the opposite perspective — that of one where increased overtime will leave retailers with little recourse.
During a congressional hearing on Thursday (June 23) on the potential negative consequences of the updated overtime regulations, NRF Senior Vice President of Government Relations David French shared his organization's view that, despite claims of job creation and growth, the new rules would cause retailers to demote full-time employees to part-time status at best and fire them at worst — all to avoid paying extra wages to the employees under them.
“Supporters of the rule who celebrate studies predicting a potential increase in part-time jobs fail to acknowledge to the public that any increase in part-time jobs comes at the expense of full-time employees’ hours and earnings,” French said during the hearing. “The creation of part-time jobs due to hiring freezes or layoffs of full-time employees is hardly something to celebrate.”
The NRF put forward its own remedy to the overtime regulations — the so-called "Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act," which would put a moratorium on the implementation of the new rules and impel the Department of Labor to analyze the impact said rules would have on small businesses and low-wage employees.
“These are studies that DOL should have undertaken before issuing its final rule and on which the public deserves an opportunity to comment,” French said.
Perhaps they tried but were forced to stop when they came up against overtime for the week.