Wolf Overtime Eligibility Proposal Scheduled For Vote

From the PA Chamber of Business & Industry

Barring any unforeseen development, the state’s Independent Regulatory Review Commission is expected to consider and likely approve Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed overtime eligibility expansion measure at a meeting on Friday, Jan. 31.

The PA Chamber has been a leading voice against the governor’s proposal to dramatically expand – both in the near-term and automatically going forward – the scope of employees eligible for overtime pay, or time-and-a-half for any hours worked over 40 in a week.  This costly move would force many employers to convert their workers from salaried into hourly positions so that hours can be closely monitored and overtime avoided.

Late last year the state Senate voted 42-7 to pass S.B. 79 – compromise legislation that would rescind the overtime rule in exchange for a gradual increase in Pennsylvania’s minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $9.50 by 2022.  While the PA Chamber has historically opposed minimum wage increases, the Chamber concluded the compromise has merit and, as the only viable option to stopping the overtime rule, have urged the House to pass it as well.

Governor Wolf had previously said that if S.B. 79 did not reach his desk before Jan. 31, he would allow IRRC to take up the measure at the end of January.  That scenario now appears likely as the House is not scheduled to be back in session until Feb. 3. Should IRRC approve the proposal (which is expected given its 3-2 Democratic majority) the PA Chamber will advocate that House and Senate lawmakers pass a motion to disapprove the measure.  This action is widely considered symbolic, however, as any disapproval legislation would have to overcome a likely veto by Gov. Wolf.