U.S. Senator David Vitter (R-La.), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship (SBC), issued the following statement after introducing new legislation that would delay the implementation of the Department of Labor’s (DOL) controversial overtime rule for a period of two years in any state that has a major disaster declaration.

“The Obama Administration’s one-size-fits-all solution will cripple local economies, particularly in Louisiana. The Labor Department actively left out small businesses during the rulemaking process, and came out with a regulation that will force small businesses to shift many of their employees to part-time positions who will then lose the benefits that come with a salaried position. This rule is absolutely the last thing Louisianians need as they pick up the pieces from last month’s thousand-year flood disaster,” said Vitter. “As Chairman of the Small Business Committee, I’ll keep fighting to protect small businesses and Louisiana’s workforce who may see depressed wages, hours, and benefits from Obama’s misguided rule.”

The Small Business Survival from Disaster Act (S.3429) would delay the implementation of DOL’ rule entitled, “Defining and Delimiting the Exemptions for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales and Computer Employees,” in States the President has declared that a major disaster exists until December 1, 2018.

Numerous stakeholders have voiced concerns that the rule will limit workplace opportunity and flexibility for both workers and employers. DOL’s rule would substantially increase the number of workers who qualify for overtime pay in a one-size-fits-all proposal that would more than double the threshold for overtime pay from $23,660 to $47,476.

In July 2015, the DOL announced a proposed rule that would substantially increase the number of workers who qualify for overtime pay, including certain workers who make over $100,000 a year. As SBC Chairman, Vitter urged DOL Secretary Perez to extend the public comment period in order to allow small businesses to thoroughly examine and comment on the then-proposed rule, including sending a letter to Secretary Perez urging him to reconsider his decision not to extend the public comment period for the prosed rule.

In March, Chairman Vitter held a hearing entitled, “An Examination of the Administration’s Overtime Rule and the Rising Costs of Doing Business,” where he and Committee Members heard from small business owners and a former DOL Administrator on the serve impacts the rule is expected to have on small businesses in lower cost-of-living states, such as Louisiana, who would disproportionately carry a higher economic burden than others from the Administration’s “one-size-fits-all” rule. Click here to read more.

In August, Chairman Vitter hosted the Honorable Maria Contreras-Sweet, Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), in South Louisiana as they toured the flood-impacted areas in Livingston, Ascension, and East Baton Rouge parishes. Click here to read more. Shortly after the trip, Vitter held a SBC hearing to examine the examine the initial response to the disaster and discuss the federal resources that are available to many communities in South Louisiana that were devastated by the August flooding disaster. Click here to read more.

Click here to read the Small Business Survival from Disaster Act (S.3429).