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NALP: There might not be an opportunity to stop DOL overtime rule

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NALP_logoDespite its best efforts to block the overtime rule finalized by the Department of Labor, the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) and other critics of the rule may be out of options to stop the rule from going into effect Dec. 1.

“We’re still working on something that’s called the Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act, which basically would require the Department of Labor to do a thorough review of exactly what this increase means for small business and to examine the issue much more closely than they have thus far,” said Paul Mendelsohn, vice president of government relations for NALP. “We’re hopeful that Congress will agree to that. However, we’re in an election year right now, so we are also realistic in our understanding that there might not be an opportunity, despite our efforts, to stop this thing before it goes into effect.”

The Department of Labor has the regulatory authority to pass this rule without help from Congress. For this reason, Mendelsohn does not believe the courts will provide an injunction or any similar action.

“I don’t think that there’s anything other than Congress passing legislation that can stop the implementation of the rule because it is within the regulatory prerogative of the Department of Labor to take a look at wage- and hour-related things,” he said.

The association has been working on opposition strategies for months and will continue to do so. Mendelsohn cited concerns with the rule’s lack of consideration into differences in regional cost of living and the level of increase that’s proposed. The association fears the rule will place a major regulatory burden on small businesses.

“We’re concerned that a number of landscape professionals will have more of a difficulty making ends meet, and this will most likely lead to some individuals being reclassified from salaried employees to hourly employees,” he added.

The NALP is still reviewing the final, 500-page rule, which has been slightly altered from the original, proposed rule. Recommendations to industry and association members are forthcoming, Mendelsohn said.

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