Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Vote on Murray Offering Not Yet Getting Much Press; Overtime Reg Fight Back In the News

Given the substantive impact of Senator Patty Murray's amendment to a bill that will be voted on this week, reported here last week, it is somewhat amazing how little attention it has gotten from the mainstream media. Although easy to miss something, a quick on-line search shows only comments from Paul Kersey, a fellow at the Heritage Foundation, Domestic Violence Amendment Is Unnecessary and Burdensome and a piece in the National Review Online. Fortunately, they both note that the passage of such momentous legislation without more study is not a good idea. From e-mail communications I have received I know that the HR community is mobilized to educate the Senate on the dangers of the bill in its current form. Hopefully that will convey the message.

Another contentious employment law issue is once again front and center in the Senate, with a vote scheduled for today on an amendment to block the DOL's attempt to amend the white collar exemptions of the wage and hour law. It is now being offered to a broad business tax relief bill, needed to avoid additional trade sanctions from other countries. Already, these regulations which were scheduled to be released this month have had numerous legislative ups and down. The Washington Post has the details of the latest fight.

As might be expected in an election year, both political parties are trying to stake out the most advantageous position for the presidential campaign. Unfortunately, both of these issues are extremely complex and can substantially impact employers and thus the economy. Sound bites and sound bite thinking, and are really not the best policy, but for the time being, looks like what we will get.

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