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Georgia businesses concerned about overtime pay proposal

The current threshold for salaried employees who are eligible for overtime pay is $455 per week ($23,660 per year). The White House has announced intentions to increase that threshold to $970 per week ($50,440 per year). Many Georgia businesses are concerned about how this overtime pay proposal will adversely affect financial growth for both the business and employees.

This is because some smaller Georgia companies may have to lower salaries in order to avoid an increase in payroll costs. It may also be necessary to pass on at least some of the cost to consumers, which could also affect business and, ultimately, employees. Approximately 160,000 workers in Georgia could be affected by the change, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The White House says that this change is designed to increase the number of households that are considered to be middle class.

The new regulation would go into effect in 2016 if it passes. Sources indicate that in addition to the state's smaller businesses, the industries that are most likely to be hardest hit by the new rule would be restaurants and retailers. These industries would be closely followed by the banking industry.

Most Georgia business owners care about their employees and will do what they can to provide them with fair pay. Therefore, in anticipation of this potential change, it might be beneficial for the state's businesses to review their current financial, business and legal situations. Any adjustments that might need to be made if the overtime pay proposal passes could be made in such a way that the effects on the business -- and subsequently its workers and customers -- will be reduced.

Source: chronicle.augusta.com, "Augusta area employers voice concern about federal overtime proposal", Jenna Martin and Wesley Brown, July 6, 2015

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