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How Will the President’s Plan to Pay Overtime Pay to Salaried Workers Affect Mississippi Businesses

By Lawayne Childrey | Published 14 Mar 2014 08:31am | comments

New federal rules could give some salaried workers in Mississippi overtime pay. But as MPB's Lawayne Childrey reports some small business owners are not sold on the changes.

The rules would be aimed at salaried workers who are ineligible for overtime because they are designated as management even though their supervisory duties are minimal.  Bill Latham, has at least 20 salaried employees at his five Jackson area restaurants. He says the new rules will have little effect on the way he does business. 

" We try to keep our managers on a 5 day workweek and we try to keep ‘em around probably around  50 hours per week. 55 max but we try to keep them around 50 hours. They are paid good salaries because they  do work more than 40 hours a week so they are already compensated for that."

Under current law, only workers earning $455 per week are eligible for overtime pay. Ron Aldridge,  State Director of the Federation of Independent Businesses, says any mandate to increase that amount would be an added burden to small businesses.

"Because you've got this plus the possibility of an increase minimum wage hike.  And if both of these were to come on top of already the increased healthcare costs, increased transportation costs. All of these things keep adding to the problems of small business instead of giving them a certainty for the future where it’s just uncertainty , it just continues to happen."

Ed Sivak, Director of the Mississippi Economic Policy Center, says the bottom-line should really be about putting more money in people’s pockets.

"And when people have more money in their pocket they're gonna go and spending it at local businesses. And as businesses experience this increase in demand the need to meet it and to have people in place to meet it is also going to be there as well. So again we think this is a good proposal that should be supported."

The U.S. Department of Labor is expected to announce how much employers will have to pay eligible salaried workers in overtime by this fall. Lawayne Childrey, MPB News.




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