Judge blocks Obama Administration overtime rule, but some Louisv - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Judge blocks Obama Administration overtime rule, but some Louisville businesses will still pay for it

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Just days before it was supposed to take effect, a federal judge blocked an overtime rule indefinitely that would have affected millions of paychecks nationwide.

The Obama administration instructed all employers to start paying people hourly if they earned a salary less than $47,476 each year, making them eligible for overtime pay.

The rule was supposed to be implemented by Friday, Dec. 2.

For several months, businesses nationwide planned to make the change.

“At the YMCA, we've spent probably close to a year doing various modeling and evaluation of our positions,” said Steve Tarver, President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Louisville. “It impacted about 50 or 60 of our full-time or career staff.”

“I think businesses here were very concerned about the rule,” said Kent Oyler, President and CEO of Greater Louisville Inc. "Any kind of mandate which affects wage an hour which is artificial, businesses do not care for. What we prefer is that the market take place of that. And what's happening here is, for instance, minimum wage, the wages have come up based on supply and demand, and now it's less of an issue than it used to be."

Some businesses, like retailers, are happy the rule is put on hold. They saying it would have cost them a lot of money, especially during the holiday season.

"Some employees were actually a bit insulted, because they were on salary, and they were suddenly put back on hourly, and they viewed that as a demotion," Oyler said. 

While other employers, like the YMCA of Greater Louisville, support the mandate despite the cost.

“In the first year, it would cost about $140,000 for us,” Tarver said.

Tarver says the rule is long overdue. He says it helps promote work-life balance, and it helps employees earn a higher income.

“We sometimes have to tell them, ‘you need to go home.’” Tarver said.

Now that the rule is put on hold, the YMCA is waiting, but it will implement the changes eventually.

“We want to see a little bit about what the courts want to do, because we want to minimize the disruption of this and not have to go through this two or three different times,” Tarver said. “Regardless of what the courts do, we’ll take another look at this in January.”

While other employers around town, like Greater Louisville Inc., made the changes before the rule was put on hold and will continue to pay its employees accordingly.

“We already dealt with it. We aren't going to change it back,” Oyler said. "Sometimes, wages were just below what the threshold was set and [businesses] were having to either raise [salaries] or set in place ways to track hourly individuals who were normally on a salary."

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