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Tribes reminded about new rule affecting overtime for employees






The Native American Financial Officers Association hosted its fall finance and tribal economies conference from September 19-20, 2016, in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo by NAFOA

A new regulation that requires tribes to increase overtime wages for employees goes into effect in 30 days.

The overtime pay standards apply to millions of workers nationwide, including those in Indian Country. But some tribes have complained that the rule is unfair and would force them to take resources away from critical programs.

"The rule becomes effective December 1, 2016 and tribal employers must act quickly to determine the employees and tribal programs that will be impacted," " the Native American Finance Officers Association said in a broadcast on Tuesday.

Although the House approved a bill to delay the standards until June 2017, NAFOA is urging tribes not to wait. Lawmakers are due to return to work after the presidential election next week but H.R.6094, the Regulatory Relief for Small Businesses, Schools, and Nonprofits Act, is facing opposition from Democrats and the White House as it awaits action in the Senate.

"President Obama has threatened to veto the bill. NAFOA encourages tribal employers to continue the process of ensuring compliance with the new overtime rule and not delay preparation," the organization said.

According to the Department of Labor, more than 4.2 million workers will benefit from the new rule. These employees will be entitled to overtime pay as long their salaries fall under the $47,476 threshold, which is basically double the amount of the current threshold of $23,660 per year.

"If you work more than 40 hours a week, you should get paid for it or get extra time off to spend with your family and loved ones," President Obama said in an email to signers of a petition that supported the changes.

Federal Register Notices:
Defining and Delimiting the Exemptions for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales and Computer Employees (May 23, 2016)
Defining and Delimiting the Exemptions for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales and Computer Employees (May 23, 2016)

House Committee on Education and the Workforce Notice:
The Administration’s Overtime Rule and Its Consequences for Workers, Students, Nonprofits, and Small Businesses (June 9, 2016)

Related Stories:
Senate passes bill to update tribal employment grant program (07/15)
Bill to exempt tribes from Affordable Care Act mandate draws fire (06/21)
Tribes blast new Department of Labor rule affecting overtime pay (05/19)