The NAHB is among those criticizing an Obama administration proposal to raise the earnings threshold where workers qualify for overtime pay.
In June, the U.S. Labor Department suggested workers earning up to $50,440 a year should automatically be eligible for overtime pay, regardless of the type of work they perform. Previously, the salary threshold was $23,660, and exempted workers who handled “executive” or “professional” duties, even if they earned less than the threshold.
The White House says its proposal would update earnings to reflect inflation and the modern work environment.
But the National Association of Home Builders and other business groups say the change could hurt the economy. The NAHB says it would affect at least 116,000 construction supervisors.
"NAHB is concerned that changes to the current overtime standard will reduce job-advancement opportunities and the hours of full-time construction supervisors, leading to construction delays, increased costs and less affordable housing options for consumers,” said Tom Woods, NAHB chairman and a builder from Blue Springs, Missouri. “In addition to construction supervisors, the proposed rule could affect other occupations in the industry, including sales representatives, administrative staff and local trade association employees.
"With the Department of Labor acting to more than double this overtime threshold to over $50,000, NAHB and others in the business community argue that such a dramatic surge is unlikely to result in an increase in workers' take-home pay,” Woods added. “Rather, it would force business owners to structure their workforce to compensate by scaling back on pay and benefits, as well as cutting hours to avoid the overtime requirements and convert salaried employees to hourly workers who will see this as a demotion.”