U.S. Chamber Hosts Webinar on New Overtime Rule


Instead of focusing on policies that will create new jobs and enhance business opportunities, over the last seven years the Obama Department of Labor chose to micromanage business by forcing business to change its wage structure as a substitute for an improved economy. It’s like a tax due to the underperforming economy.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday hosted a webinar for its members on the new overtime rule that takes effect Dec. 1. The bottom line is you better start preparing now for its financial and personnel impact. Failure to comply can be punished by the federal government.

In any event, because it’s a rule making allowed by federal law, the new overtime schedule has the force of law and cannot be changed except by federal law. There is Senate legislation and House legislation to overturn the new rule.

Business Council of Alabama members can contact their members of Congress and request that they add their name to the Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act, which they can do here.

The U.S. Chamber began conferring with the Labor Department in 2014 in an attempt to mitigate the effect of the federal intrusion. The Chamber filed comments that were among the 300,000 comments that were filed, a record.

The good news is if there is any, is the Labor Department listened to the U.S. Chamber on some issues. However, the rule mandating overtime for salaries above $913 a week, almost double of the current $455, or $47,476 a year. Fortunately, the rule makes no change to the pay system for outside sales, teachers, doctors, or lawyers.


The National Association of Manufacturers was a proud supporter of Infrastructure Week 2016. The national week of advocacy this week elevated infrastructure as a critical issue affecting all Americans.

The timing coincides with the emphasis on infrastructure improvements advocated by the BCA and others during the 2016 regular legislative session, an emphasis that will continue next year.

You can Visit the NAM’s Infrastructure page in order to engage your member of Congress on this vital issue.

The 2016 theme, Infrastructure Matters, tells the story of what infrastructure means to Americans, in big ways and in small, to our country, our economy, our quality of life, our safety, and our communities. our daily commutes and our summer vacations, to drinking water from our faucets, to the lights in our homes, and ultimately to every aspect of our daily lives.


The lead attorney general in the lawsuit against President Obama’s power plant climate rule said stopping the regulation will help the declining American coal industry. “I think that it would lead to more coal jobs, but it’s difficult to predict what that number would be,” West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said at a Monday National Press Club event.

He said the regulatory attack has played in an important role in coal’s decline. In West Virginia, thousands of coal jobs have been lost – as jobs have been lost in Alabama – as demand for coal, a trend started by the rise of cheap natural gas but spurred on by the introduction of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan, the Hill reported.

Morrisey and more than two dozen state attorneys general (including Alabama’s) have sued over the power plant rule. The Supreme Court temporarily blocked the regulation in February while litigation against it moves forward.

With litigation pending, Morrisey advocates states stop writing Clean Power Plan implementation plans and he believes that a Supreme Court order against the rule could greatly benefit the coal industry.

Such a decision could be contingent on this fall’s presidential election. Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton has vowed to continue President Obama’s climate work. Presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump has been much more accommodating to the coal industry, winning the endorsement of a West Virginia coal group earlier this month.


Why Can’t Congress Stop the EPA’s Assault on Private Property Rights?
The Hill (Combest 5/25) “Karl Marx wrote that, ‘The theory of the communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property’. The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ‘Waters of the United States’ regulation may not be the abolishment of private property rights that Marx had in mind, but it’s one heck of a start.

“First, all tributaries, loosely defined as anything with a ‘bed and banks and ordinary high water mark’, are categorically included under the definition of ‘Waters of the United States’ and, thus, subject to regulation. Common ditches and less can easily meet this definition. Moreover … there is nothing to prevent third-party lawsuits from forcing the implementation of the rule to its maximum application. Therefore, any land except that which is perfectly flat can easily fall under the EPA’s rule and therefore the civil and criminal penalties sanctioned under that statute.

“The crux of the matter … EPA simply decided to ignore the long and widely recognized limitations under the current law and unilaterally move forward with an extralegal regulation. This is why lawmakers have worked so persistently to block the Waters of the United States regulation, in the context of standalone legislation and disapproval resolutions, as well as riders on appropriations bills.

“But, where the wheels fall off in the effort to rein in the EPA in defense of private property is at the end of the appropriations process, when some members of Congress who are adamantly opposed to the Waters of the United States rule refuse to vote for the final appropriations bill that would stop the EPA regulation, therefore requiring congressional leadership to rely on the votes of members who strongly support the Waters of the United States regulation and oppose inclusion of any language to block it. Thus, protection of private property rights is thrown overboard.”

(Combest was a Texas congressman from 1985 to 2002 and is now a principal at Combest Sell & Associates.)