Garden City reacts to overtime pay ruling

The rule would have benefited 4 million workers nationally

GARDEN CITY, Kan. (KSNW) — A federal judge in Texas on Tuesday blocked a rule that would have made more workers eligible for overtime starting December 1.

The rule would have made all salaried workers who earn up to $47,476 per year eligible for overtime pay. The current cap is $23,660.

For some small businesses, it’s a relief that for now, they won’t have to increase pay.

“The big concern was that big jump and going from 23 to 47,” said Garden City Chamber of Commerce President Steve Dyer, “and so, you know, the small businesses continue to be challenged by increased costs and expenses and this was a big concern for them.”

For employees who were expecting either a raise or overtime wages, since there’s no requirement now, it will be up to individual employers to make those decisions.

We checked with the city manager of Garden City. The OT rule would impact eight of its employees.

The city has decided to honor their decision to either increase their salaries or make them eligible for overtime, regardless of the judge’s ruling.

We also reached out to private businesses, like the Best Western Plus.

“We have front desk managers, head housekeepers on salary, and basically we’d have to double their salaries for them to be exempt,” said P-Jay Patel, the owner of the hotel.

Patel says while the rule would have cut into profits, he says the hotel could have followed the rule without laying off any staff. For now, the hotel will stick with its current pay structure.

Regardless of how the court will eventually rule, the chamber says it does start a good conversation.

“It did give an opportunity for all businesses to look at what are we paying our employees, is it a fair salary, and do we need to look at overtime versus salary and be compensated appropriately,” said Dyer.

Donald Trump has spoken out against the overtime rule, so its future is unclear.