Sept. 1, 2017
For immediate release
Contact: Alexandria Klapmeier, communications director
HELENA— On Thursday, the Montana Chamber of Commerce welcomed news of a federal judge in Texas overturning the U.S. Overtime Pay Rule.
The rule would have required employers to pay overtime to most salaried workers who earn less than $47,476 annually, a sharp increase from the current annual salary limit of $23,660. This decision came after the same judge last year blocked the rule from taking effect pending his final decision. This is a major win for the business community, especially in Montana.
The Montana Chamber has long opposed this rule. Leading up to yesterday’s ruling, we opted to support legislation that would have delayed the impacts, under the assumption that the overtime changes were here to stay. This decision is important for businesses because of the costs associated with the rule. It would have reduced worker hours, decreased workplace flexibility and stalled career advancement opportunities for the employees.
“We are pleased with yesterday’s decision because businesses are now assured of needed flexibility in how they develop and invest in their workers,” said Webb Brown, president and CEO of the Montana Chamber and Montana Manufacturers Association. “This ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to overtime compensation did not account for challenges unique to every industry on how they would have handled the costs to comply. Business owners are better equipped to determine overtime and employee incentives than the federal government, especially in a climate with a shortage of skilled workers.”
The Montana Chamber looks forward to working with national stakeholders on a new rule that will more appropriately update the salary threshold for overtime.
Creating and maintaining an optimal business climate in Montana is a crucial objective of the Montana Chamber’s ten-year strategic plan, Envision 2026. Keeping the cost of doing business at a reasonable level is essential to achieve that goal.
For more information contact Bridger Mahlum, Montana Chamber government relations director, at (406) 442-2405 x102 or [email protected].