November 9, 2023

Proposed overtime rule is ‘bad policy’ that senior living providers cannot absorb, groups say

McKnights Senior Living

A new overtime rule proposed by the federal government would worsen workforce issues for senior living providers and create unintended consequences for workers and residents, according to industry advocacy groups.

Most salaried workers earning less than $1,059 per week, or about $55,000 per year, would be eligible for overtime pay under the proposed rule. The Department of Labor estimates that 3.6 million more salaried workers would be newly eligible for overtime under the changed thresholds, and approximately 600,000 of them work in healthcare.

The rule would increase the standard salary level for eligibility to the 35th percentile of weekly earnings of full-time salaried workers in the lowest-wage census region (which was the South at the time of the rule’s proposal). Currently, employees earning up to $684 per week, or $35,568 per year, are eligible for overtime pay. The rule would

The Labor Department also is proposing to automatically update all of the earnings thresholds beginning three years after the overtime rule’s effective date and every three years thereafter, to reflect current earnings data. The proposed salary threshold represents an increase of almost 55% since 2019.

The rule also would restore overtime protections in US territories, where the overtime threshold applied from 2004 until 2019.

33,000+ comments received

The DOL’s Wage and Hour Division said it received more than 33,000 comments and as of Wednesday had posted almost 24,000 of them online. The deadline for commenting was Tuesday.

In a joint comment letter, Argentum President and CEO James Balda and American Seniors Housing Association President and CEO David Schless called the proposed rule “flawed” and urged the agency to withdraw it.

“The proposed rule constitutes bad policy at a time when employers and employees are adapting new and innovative approaches in staffing to meet these needs,” they wrote.

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