You shouldn’t expect an enormous amount of attention to the newly implemented overtime rule in the current presidential race, but you should expect that the result of the election will determine whether the new rule stays in place.
Hillary Clinton, whose campaign is largely an affirmation of the domestic policies of President Obama, supports the new rule, which requires that workers with salaries under $47,476 get paid overtime wages when they work more than 40 hours in a week. The rule goes into effect on Dec. 1.
In a statement in response to the new rule in May, Clinton framed the change as part of a series of needed reforms to bolster the middle class.
“No one who works 40 hours a week should have to raise a family in poverty,” she said. “No one should have their fundamental rights to organize and bargain collectively stripped away by Republicans and their corporate allies. That’s why we need to raise the federal minimum wage back to the highest it’s ever been in this country and make sure it keeps rising over time, protect workers’ rights and safety on the job, and restore the basic bargain that built America’s mighty middle class — that if you work hard and play by the rules, you can get ahead and stay ahead.”
Donald Trump has not commented much on the rule, but recently said in an interview that he would prefer an exemption to the rule for small businesses. His position is in many ways typical of his campaign thus far in that it is not what many of the big businesses that are traditionally the GOP’s corner would like to hear.
“We have to address the issues of over-taxation and over-regulation and the lack of access to credit markets to get our small-business owners thriving again,” he told Circa two week ago. “Rolling back the overtime regulation is just one example of the many regulations that need to be addressed to do that. We would love to see a delay or a carve-out of sorts for our small business owners.
As Allen Smith with the Society of Human Resource Professionals explains in a blog post, a small business exemption would likely affect roughly half of the U.S. workforce.
As a result, the National Federation of Independent Business, the influential lobby for small businesses, indicated that it appreciates Trump’s position. Unsurprisingly, however, a spokesman for NFIB told SHRM that he could not comment because “there’s no meat on the bones” of Trump’s statement. Indeed, Trump’s reluctance or refusal to offer policy details is one of the dominant themes of his stranger-than-fiction quest for the White House.