Rep. Steve Knight
A bill cosponsored by Representative Steve Knight (CA-25) that would buy time for small businesses and other entities to comply with an impending federal regulation passed the House of Representatives Wednesday night.
Earlier this year the Department of Labor (DOL) finalized a rule that would radically alter existing regulations on what employees must be paid overtime wages. The regulation is set to go into effect on December 1, 2016, despite major pushback from small businesses, non-profits, and universities that fear that the drastic change will force them to cut employees’ hours, wages, and even jobs.
Last week Knight joined Representative Tim Walberg (MI-7) as an original cosponsor of H.R. 6094, the Regulatory Relief for Small Businesses, Schools, and Nonprofits Act, which would postpone the rule’s implementation by six months. The delay would allow smaller entities the time they need to understand, prepare for, and comply with the mandate.
“While the DOL’s overtime rule may sound good, it will ultimately harm those it seeks to help by increasing compliance costs for small businesses and forcing them to cut jobs and slow growth,” said Knight. “This legislation would give our small businesses much-needed time to mitigate some of the mandate’s most harmful effects.”
Knight, a member of the House Small Business Committee, says the DOL rule is a top concern for many in the community. In March, he hosted House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (OH-1) for a roundtable with small business owners and non-profit operators in Simi Valley, where the potential impacts of the overtime mandate were discussed at length. In August Knight held a Small Business Conference and Expo, where again the rule was cited as a major fear.
“I’ve heard from men and women from all around our community who own, operate, or work for small businesses and time and time again say this radical change in overtime rules is a huge worry,” said Knight. “Our small businesses are the key to growing our economy locally and nationally, yet regulations like this one ignore their needs and threaten their existence. I am proud to stand with my Democratic and Republican colleagues in the House in advancing this important measure.”
HR 6094 passed the House with bipartisan support on Wednesday night. It now awaits consideration in the Senate.