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SD delegation not happy withnew OT mandate

South Dakota's congressional delegates strongly oppose a new mandate to double the salary threshold for which employees qualify for overtime pay, unveiled Wednesday.

South Dakota's congressional delegates strongly oppose a new mandate to double the salary threshold for which employees qualify for overtime pay, unveiled Wednesday.

The Department of Labor released the final ruling on the qualifications for overtime pay. Currently, full-time salaried employees do not qualify for overtime pay if they make $23,660. This new rule will increase the salary threshold from $23,660 to $47,476.

The Labor Department estimates that the rule would boost the pay of 4.2 million additional workers, according to the Washington Post. The change is scheduled to take effect December 1.

The change is not scheduled to take place until December, but there are several efforts in Congress underway to overturn and stop the implementation of this new rule.

Sen. Mike Rounds issued a statement that said the new rule will hurt employees and the employers who hire them in South Dakota.

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"Under this rule, restaurants, retailers and small businesses across South Dakota will be faced with increased labor costs or be forced to transition their managers from salary to hourly pay and most likely limit the number of hours they work," Rounds said in a press release. "This rule makes it more difficult for new and mid-level workers to support their families and advance their career. The best way to strengthen the middle class is to grow our economy by lowering the tax burden, removing costly regulatory mandates and increasing workplace flexibility. Unfortunately, this new rule will have the opposite effect."

The new mandate also calls for an automatic annual update every three years to "ensure that they continue to provide useful and effective tests for exemption" according to the Department of Labor.

Rep. Kristi Noem said the new overtime regulations will be an obstacle in improving the economy, not improve it.

"The best and most sustainable way to increase wages is to grow the economy, but like many of the Obama administration's regulations, this new, one-size-fits-all overtime mandate limits opportunity and puts obstacles in the way of building a healthy economy," Noem said. "A more sincere approach would be to focus on proven growth policies, including those that simplify the tax code, cut down on red tape, and promote innovation and job creation."

Sen. John Thune also opposes the new mandate, stating that it will hurt many industries in South Dakota.

"The Obama administration's misguided overtime rule will not only have a negative effect on the people the administration claims to be helping, but is another example of this administration's failed top-down, government-knows-best approach to regulation," Thune said. "This will burden employers and hurt jobs, and it could harm a variety of industries in South Dakota."

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