Overtime Takes Center Stage at Subcommittee on Workforce Protections Field Hearing
On March 29, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Workforce Protections Tim Walberg (R-MI) hosted a field hearing — “The 21st Century Workforce: How Current Rules and Regulations Affect Innovation and Flexibility in Michigan’s Workplaces” — to discuss how current government regulations impact workers and job creators in Michigan. Rep. Walberg was joined by his colleague, Rep. Mike Bishop (R-MI), to hear testimony from a diverse group of witnesses representing higher education, nonprofits, businesses and trade associations.
As the title of the hearing suggests, witnesses provided testimony on the impact of various government regulations on the workplace, but special attention was given by all witnesses to DOL’s proposed overtime rule. Laurita Thomas, CUPA-HR board member and associate vice president for HR at University of Michigan, provided a clear snapshot of the impact the proposal will have on higher education — the rule will impact 3,100 employees critical to University of Michigan’s mission, with implementation costs as high as $34 million. The Michigan Association of State Universities has echoed such cost estimates, indicating that implementing the rule as proposed could cost 11 of its 15 member institutions upwards of $60 million annually.
Rep. Bishop, who has been vocal about the unintended consequences of the proposal on higher education, expressed alarm at the cost estimates Thomas provided and the fact that these costs would inevitably be passed onto students and impact tuition.