The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) spoke out today against the Department of Labor's (DOL) just-released final version of its overtime rule. The rule will raise the standard salary level for overtime to $913/week from $455/week and is scheduled to take effect Dec. 1. In addition, the rule will require the salary threshold to increase every three years.
In a news release, the NLBMDA expressed concern that the final rule does not make enough concessions for small businesses. “DOL's one-size-fits-all approach will create greater confusion for employers and employees alike in small business workplaces that require flexibility, initiative, and innovation,” NLBMDA said in its release.
This isn’t the first time this year the NLBMDA has shown its dislike of the overtime rule. In February, the organization highlighted its opposition in its National Policy Agenda. In March, Congress introduced the Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act, that would delay changes to the overtime rule, a bill which the NLBMDA supported. Then in April, the NLBMDA held its spring meeting and went to Capitol Hill to express multiple concerns to Congress, including its issues with the overtime rule.
In other comments, longtime LBM consultant Ruth Kellick-Grubbs predicted that the rule will hurt retail-oriented harder than more pro-oriented companies because the retail yards tend to have more employees per revenue dollar than bigger and urban yards. Likewise, she believes yards in rural areas will be affected more than yards in urban spots because lots of rural LBM operations continue to struggle, often showing pre-tax profit margins of only around 3%.
"For anybody who's got any kind of a retail store or just an inside sales counter, it's going to impact people there," Kellick-Grubbs told ProSales in a telephone interview. She said "dealers will have to figure out creative ways to keep the costs in line. ... . Everybody wants to do the right thing for their people, but how do you stay in compliance with the new reg and still make enough money for this to make sense?"
Now that the rule has been issued, NLBMDA stated that it will continue to take legal action against the rule to have the legislation’s components altered. "We are hopeful congressional action can help bring a rational approach to addressing minimum salary thresholds for overtime pay," Jonathan Paine, NLBMDA president and CEO, said in the press release.
Similarly, Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) was also upset by the DOL’s new rule. “The rule’s unprecedented increase in the salary threshold fails to account for disparate income levels in different regions of the country,” Kristen Swearingen, ABC's vice president of legislative and political affairs, said a press release. “This will result in an unreasonable, one-size-fits-all mandate, which will have a vastly different impact on employers in regions with a lower cost-of-living.”