BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI) recently announced its support of the federal court complaint filed by Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry as part of a coalition of 21 states challenging the U.S. Department of Labor’s new overtime rule, set to go into effect nationwide on Dec. 1.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Labor finalized the overtime rule, requiring salaried workers in the private and nonprofit sectors, academia and state and local government earning less than $47,476 to be eligible for overtime pay. Small businesses will be impacted, especially those 12,000 businesses in the southern region of Louisiana that were damaged by recent historic flooding and are struggling to recover.
"This latest executive branch ruling would undoubtedly add to the current burden facing Louisiana businesses," LABI said in a statement.
Downtown Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where businesses were damaged by recent historic flooding. CrackerClips Stock Media
LABI has been working to fight the installation of the new federal overtime rule and working to inform small business owners about possible upcoming changes due to the new rule. On Sept. 6, LABI issued a formal request to the U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez to delay the implementation of the new federal overtime rule in the 22 Louisiana parishes that were declared disaster areas as a result of the recent flooding. During the week of Sept. 12, LABI representatives traveled to Washington to meet with the state's congressional delegation and to urge Congress to delay implementation of the new overtime rule.
"The businesses that were impacted and can get their businesses up and fully functioning in the next couple of months are concerned about survival. We are hopeful that the administration will hear our plea and give these small business owners a bit of relief by at least delaying this overtime rule. This delay would be an easy, no-brainer, no-cost issue for the administration to implement," Renee Amar of LABI told the Louisiana Record.
In addition to the 21 states, more than 55 business groups, but state and national, have filed complaints.
"Adding to the complaints filed, nonprofits are really waking up to what this rule will mean to the running of their organizations and are deeply concerned. They have now started taking action to pressure Congress to delay or stop the rule," Amar said.
On Sept. 20, LABI hosted an "Overtime Overhaul" seminar in their Baton Rouge office to provide additional information about how the new rule might impact small businesses affected by recent flooding in Louisiana.
"The biggest complaint at the seminar was one of confusion," Amar said.
"This rule is effectively going to force a choice for these flood-affected employers – delay the much-needed recovery efforts or more rapidly deplete the limited funds which they have available for recovery, paying for the higher labor costs dictated by this new rule," Amar said.
After the flood, LABI, along with the Baton Rouge Chamber of Commerce (BRAC) and other local organizations, announced the creation of the Louisiana Small Business Rebirth Fund, which is helping small businesses that were impacted by the flooding in Louisiana. The fund is in the second round of reviewing applications and it is still accepting donations at www.LABizRebirth.org. The donations are tax-deductible, and 100 percent of the donations are given to the flood victims.