Arlington, VA – The National Grocers Association (NGA) today issued the following statement on the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) final rule regarding overtime pay for salaried workers.
“The independent supermarket industry plays a crucial role in America’s economy, creating nearly one million jobs across the nation. NGA members are proud to be an employer of choice in their communities, offering stable, reliable jobs and opportunities for career advancement, but unfortunately this rule will negatively affect many store associates, particularly those who are just entering into management positions within a company. Despite submitting extensive comments and meeting with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to outline our concerns with this rule, the administration unfortunately proceeded with finalizing a “one-size-fits-all” rule that will significantly impact the independent supermarket industry and local communities in which independents serve. NGA will continue to push for a legislative solution that will ease the burden on independent supermarket operators, and ultimately their employees,” said Peter J. Larkin, NGA president and CEO.
NGA’s Labor and Employment counsel Kara M. Maciel, Conn Maciel Carey PLLC said, “NGA advocated strongly against the final rule by submitting public comments to the Department of Labor in September 2015 and making a presentation to the Office of Management and Budget in May 2016. NGA argued that doubling the salary threshold would have dramatic consequences for independent grocers, especially given the narrow profit margin in a very competitive market. Through our advocacy, we explained that the salary increase would negatively impact grocers, their employees, and the communities where independent retailers operate. We were pleased to see as a result of our advocacy, the DOL reject the automatic annual increases, instead giving employers a three year reprieve before the salary threshold rises again. In addition, NGA told the OMB that grocers needed at least 12 months to implement the rule in order to take the time to do it right and avoid costly mistakes that could lead to employee confusion and operational disarray. We are disappointed that the DOL has only provided a six month implementation window.”