Lubbock businesses react to new overtime pay rules

Lubbock businesses react to new overtime rules
Jade Pacheco (Source: KCBD)
Jade Pacheco (Source: KCBD)
Lloyd Turner (Source: KCBD)
Lloyd Turner (Source: KCBD)
Caprock Cafe, 34th and Indiana (Source: KCBD)
Caprock Cafe, 34th and Indiana (Source: KCBD)

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - More than four million workers will become eligible for overtime pay under new rules issued by the Obama administration on Wednesday.

Vice President Joe Biden promoted the new federal overtime policy during a stop in Ohio:

The new rule more than doubles the amount salaried employees can earn before they are no longer eligible for overtime pay.

The threshold will change from $23,600 to $47,500 per year.

The amount can be adjusted every three years depending on income growth.

The new overtime rule is scheduled to take effect in December.

While some say this will make life much more difficult for Lubbock businesses, others say the new directive will provide more opportunity in workplaces.

Jade Pacheco works at Caprock Cafe in Lubbock. She says the rule will be great for employees, especially managers who are overworked and underpaid.

"It is not fair. They put in more than 40 hours a week and only are seeing a little bit of that money - plus there's tax so they're not even seeing all of their salary," Pacheco said. "After all of that's said and done, it's not a very high wage that they're making for a very hard job."

She says it takes a certain kind of person to multi-task - managing others while helping make the business successful.

Lloyd Turner is the president of Caprock Cafe and Orlando's. He says the change will not impact his businesses.

"We pay all our salary managers above the cap so in this instance we're not affected," Turner said. "We're affected by Obamacare and by open carry, but not overtime. I'm happy today."

Beth Bridges is chairwoman of the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce. She says the directive will hurt jobs and economic growth in areas like Lubbock, where the cost of living is lower.

"Businesses will have an unfair burden and increased costs because of this ruling. Ultimately it will mean that businesses will have more administrative overhead," Bridges said.

Pacheco says she has found fulfillment working at Caprock Cafe, but before coming there she has had jobs where she would have jumped at the opportunity she says this new directive may provide.

"I think it would have made me have the incentive to move up in the business because I am a tipped worker so I can make a limited amount of hours and make a lot of money, but if it was a better pay then of course a lot of people would want to management and it and there wouldn't be so many jobs out there so many businesses looking for managers," she said.

The chamber of commerce says they will host a Chamber University seminar on this topic on June 7 at 8 a.m. to provide guidance to local employers.

Those interested can call (806) 771-7000 for more information.

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