The Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act

Over the past seven years, the Obama Administration has continuously ignored the real world consequences that come along with the endless red tape created by big government regulations. Last week I introduced the Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act to stop one of the Administration’s newest proposed rules from potentially raising the cost of higher education, making it harder for charter schools to get off the ground, start a small business, and dozens of other unintended effects.

My work in the Senate has been centered on ensuring that every man and woman across the country has the opportunity to succeed. The federal government’s role in this should be limited — the goal is to empower individuals, not bureaucracies, and to make it easier, not harder, for folks to reach their goals. Unfortunately, as the Department of Labor (DOL) continues their efforts to update rules surrounding federal wage and hour standards, they are preparing to make it harder for workers to earn promotions and taking away flexibility for employees and their employers.

In the coming months, DOL is expected to release a final rule changing who is eligible for overtime pay. The department is proposing to more than double the salary threshold for whom is eligible, which promises to have a host of unintended consequences for the very workers they are trying to help.

For families with children, the rule could have “detrimental effects on charter schools, preschools and tutoring programs” — critical schools and programs to help every child receive a quality education. For those of us worried about the rising costs of college, “Many schools say [the] rule is at odds with [the] goal of making higher education affordable.”

The new rule as currently proposed would put one more road block in the way of entrepreneurs and those looking to open their own small business. One business owner wrote, “It will result in less innovation and less creativity by diminishing the number of people entrepreneurial companies can hire and by reducing incentives to work hard.”

That’s why I have introduced the Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act. Provisions of the bill include:

  • Preventing the DOL from finalizing a proposal that will limit opportunities for employees and place significant burdens on job creators;
  • Requiring the DOL to fully and accurately consider the economic impact of any rule on small businesses, nonprofits, institutions of higher education, and others who will be affected;
  • Promoting transparency and accountability by requiring any changes to the duties tests be made available for public review and comment.

The new overtime rule creates more red tape, and is another one size fits all rule, that will make life harder for American families. It must be reconsidered and reworked — plain and simple.

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