Congressional Letters Highlight Pitfalls of Overtime Rule Changes

Senate and House letters underscore potential economic harm

WASHINGTON (June 2, 2023) – In a pair of letters to the Department of Labor, U.S. senators and representatives are cautioning against raising the salary exemption threshold for executive, administrative, and professional employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Three years ago, DOL increased the threshold by more than $10,000 to $35,568, meaning that all salaried employees making under $35,800 are still eligible for overtime pay. Some recent legislative proposals would increase the threshold again by nearly $50,000 more.

The letters highlight how such an extreme change would considerably exacerbate current economic difficulties facing the nation, including “worker shortages, supply chain concerns, and inflationary pressures.”

As the letters state, “Most small businesses operate under particularly narrow margins and are acutely sensitive to dramatic cost increases. An extreme rule could result in job contraction, reductions in hours, limits to advancement opportunities, and automation in an effort to continue to absorb new costs and keep doors open.”

"We applaud this group of lawmakers for fighting against potential harmful Department of Labor overtime rule changes,” said American Hotel & Lodging Association President & CEO Chip Rogers. “Hotels support millions of jobs and drive billions of dollars to state and local economies every year. Yet another increase to the overtime threshold would create negative economic impacts for hotel workers and employers alike. We cannot afford a massively disruptive change, particularly at a time when we’re finally starting to put the economic devastation of the pandemic behind us. We join members of Congress in respectfully asking the Labor Department to consider the concerns of small businesses and employees across the nation and refrain from moving forward with any changes to the overtime regulations.”

  • View the Senate letter here.
  • View the House letter here.