Labor and Healthcare


DOL Overtime Rule

The Trump Administration dropped its defense of the Obama-era Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime rule, promulgated in late 2016. The rule raised the salary threshold for overtime eligibility from $455/week (which amounts to $23,660 annually) to $913/week ($47,476 annually). States and business groups challenged the rule in court, alleging that DOL overstepped its authority, and a federal district court blocked the rule just days before it was set to take effect. DOL initially defended the lawsuit, but elected to drop its defense after the inauguration of President Trump.

The federal district court judge who blocked the rule from coming into effect questioned the legality of any salary threshold, a standard DOL has used as one factor for determining overtime eligibility since the 1940s. In dropping its defense, the agency also asked the 5th Circuit to approve the use of some (presumably lower) threshold, arguing that there was "no basis to call into question a regulatory test that has been in place since the FLSA’s inception."

CDA will actively participate in the regulatory process to ensure that any new rules governing overtime pay is fair and equitable for employers.


Minimum Wage

CDA opposes legislation to increase the minimum wage and urges Congress to oppose such initiatives, which would have a tremendously deleterious impact on our economy overall. Even the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) stated in their report on 2016 on this issue that total U.S. employment could be reduced by 500,000 jobs as a direct result of the increase. According to the CBO report, “once fully implemented in the second half of 2016, the $10.10 option would reduce total employment by about 500,000 workers, or 0.3 percent.”

Hiking the minimum wage hurts, not helps, the lowest paid workers. The typical minimum-wage employee is young, with few skills and little or no job experience. Higher labor costs mean fewer people get hired, job loss and less working hours.

Healthcare

Repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was an oft-repeated promise on the campaign trail, invoked by the President as well as congressional Republicans. Even before the President’s inauguration, conversations had begun about a quick timeline to repeal and replace the ACA. The events of last year demonstrated the difficulty of making improvements to our healthcare system. After initially failing on the floor, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), to repeal and replace the ACA in May 2017. The Senate later brought the House bill to the floor but was unable to pass it, despite several amendments to allay concerns of several Republican Senators. CDA lobbied in support of the bill because it repealed the employer mandate and made other changes that reflect a free market approach to healthcare.

While unable to pass a wholesale repeal and replace bill, Republicans were able to repeal the ACA’s individual mandate via H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which was signed into law in late 2017. The President has taken several administrative actions to unravel the ACA and a federal judge has ruled portions of the ACA unconstitutional.