The U.S. House has passed a bill that would delay the implementation of federal regulations extending the right to earn overtime pay to an estimated 4.2 million workers.
The bill, which now goes to the Senate, sets June 1, 2017, as the effective date of the regulations, which are currently scheduled to take effect Dec. 1. The regulations double to $913 a week from $455 the threshold under which salaried workers must be paid overtime. On an annual pay basis, the threshold will increase to $47,476 from $23,600.
The bill, the Regulatory Relief for Small Businesses, Schools, and Nonprofits Act, is supported by small business advocacy groups who say the regulations burden small businesses by sharply increasing their labor costs. Opponents also say the regulations could lead to job losses at some companies.
SCORE, the organization that gives free counseling to small businesses, plans an online seminar to explain the overtime regulations. It will be held Thursday, Oct. 20, at 1 p.m. Eastern time. Learn more and register at http://tinyurl.com/zcoe9pl .
Small businesses extended their erratic pace of borrowing into August. The Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index, which tracks loans and leases by small companies, rose nearly 9 percent to 133.7 from 123.1 in July. The increase in August followed a 12 percent plunge between June and July.
Borrowing in August was down 1 percent from a year earlier, according to Thomson Reuters and PayNet, whose index is based on borrowing activity by small businesses in PayNet’s database. The company compiles credit ratings on small businesses.
PayNet President William Phelan attributed some of the erratic borrowing to uncertainty about the election. However, owners have been cautious about taking on risk like loans and leases for well over a year, the continuing fallout from the Great Recession.
PAID SICK LEAVE
The Labor Department has issued final regulations that require companies with federal contracts or subcontracts to give their staffers paid sick leave. The regulations, the result of an executive order President Barack Obama signed in 2015, mandate that workers at contractors and subcontractors be given seven paid sick days per year.
There is no federal law requiring employers in general to give workers paid sick leave, and bills that would make paid sick time a federal requirement have failed in Congress. However, a growing number of states and cities have passed laws requiring companies to give ill workers paid time off. In Illinois, lawmakers in Cook County are expected to vote on a law. If it passes, it would be the 38th jurisdiction with a paid sick leave law, according to Family Values @ Work, an organization that advocates for paid sick leave.