SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – If you work a lot of overtime, there is a good chance your income could be changing come December, but not if Utah Congresswoman Rep. Mia Love (R) can help it.
Monday, Love and several Utah business leaders gathered to take a stand against the U.S. Department of Labor’s new ‘overtime rule,’ claiming the regulation meant to protect workers is doing more harm than good.
Jane Priem says she is one of those workers.
Priem has spent nine years working her way up to where she is today.
“They start us at the very bottom…” Priem explained.
She and other co-workers at Cuisine Unlimited Catering & Special Events in Salt Lake City have also bounced back and forth between compensation plans. Most recently, Priem has earned the status of salary pay.
“We have really busy times and we have really slow times. It’s nice to have the steady paycheck,” she told Good 4 Utah’s Ali Monsen.
But the event coordinator just learned the company is putting her back on hourly pay with little hope for overtime hours.
“It is frustrating,” Priem said.
“We get very concerned when we see this type of regulation,” said Maxine Turner, Priem’s boss and President of Cuisine Unlimited.
Turner says she does not like the situation either but still has to find a way to comply with the Dept. of Labor’s overtime rule and stay in business. She and other business owners teamed up with Rep. Love in opposition of the regulation, which is scheduled to take effect December 1st.
“I am just basically telling the Dept. of Labor to take a step back,” Love said.
The rule is meant to guarantee time-and-a-half pay for 4.2 million employees working overtime across the country. It requires employers to either pay up, limit workers’ hours to 40 a week, or raise employee salaries above $913 dollars a week (or $47,476 per year). But Love says the regulation’s unintended repercussions will actually hurt those workers and the companies employing them in several ways.
“One, [it will] change salary employees to hourly wages. Two, cut hours of hourly employees to avoid overtime pay, reduce work benefits or work flexibility…” Love said. “Many hardworking families will lose — and this is the most important thing — their much-needed healthcare benefits when they move from salary to hourly pay,” Love explained.
Rep. Love’s new project, H.Res.836, basically declares disapproval or the overtime rule and would stop it from taking effect, if passed.
For now, workers like Priem say they are hopeful the rule will change.
“Maybe when the [Dept. of Labor] sees what’s happened…” Priem said.
Congresswoman Love’s resolution would have to pass in the House of Representatives, the Senate, and require the President’s signature in order to go through.
Also note, there are certain exemptions under the ‘Overtime Rule,’ which you can read more about here.
Love’s political opponent, Doug Owens, chimed in on how he would handle the situation as well, stating, “Doug Owens has more than 25 years experience standing up for Utah businesses and fighting against burdensome regulations. In congress, Doug will always put Utahns and Utah businesses first.”