(Steven Miller, NPRI) – Working flexibly has been the conventional way American workers live their lives in the working atmosphere. Needless to say, it fits their convenience and personal life, with the fact of having their work performed anywhere, even at home, and at anytime, as long as the job is done. In effect, the boomerang of an all-win situation between the employer and the employee is maintained.
However, this traditional work life of Americans seems to be carried by hazy waters when President Barrack Obama issued in March 2014 orders revising the federal regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
The FLSA provides the scope of workers who must receive overtime pay. FLSA currently sets the annual salary of $23,660 as the ceiling for workers who are not exempt from overtime. Now, what Obama wants is to expand the ceiling to an annual salary of $50,440 that will be the basis for workers who can work overtime.
A number of consequences, economists predict, would arise whenever Obama’s proposal eventually passes the proceeding and wins. One is the limbo of flexible work schedules that Americans used to adapt.
In pursuant to the new regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act, employers are expected to impose stricter rules in the workplace as regards the time employees log to work, so much so that the number of employees who may opt to work overtime increases. Thus, a lot more monitoring by the employer is necessary. Absence the time logging thing would result to lawsuits directed by employees against their employer instituting their rights for fair labor. Thereafter, it’s the employers or the firms that suffer the risk of litigation expenses and damages.
The difference between the current regulation and Obama’s proposed regulation of FLSA is the free lifestyle means of flexi work and the rigid manner of punch in-punch out on time clocks.
Steven Miller is senior vice president at Nevada Policy Research Institute (NPRI), a non-profit, non-partisan think tank that produces and shares ideas and information that empowers people. For more information, please visit www.NPRI.org.