House Committee Examines "Outdated and Overly Complex" Regulatory Regime

February 17, 2017

This week, Subcommittee on Workforce Protections Chairman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) chaired a hearing on outdated federal wage and hour policies, observing, "The workplace is so different [today] – I don’t think our laws have kept pace with that change, and worse, I think our laws and the way we’re trying to apply them are actually getting in the way."  Rep. Byrne, who practiced labor law for several years before being elected to Congress, questioned the Obama administration’s overtime rule narrowing the so-called "white collar" exemptions, challenging whether the agency has the statutory authority to index the salary threshold for exempt employees.  He also emphasized the broader implications such rules and regulations have for companies and the economy and the pressure they exert on the workforce, detracting from productivity.  In closing remarks, Representative Byrne noted, "While I don't think that most of us in the federal government intend to be in the way, sometimes the law we pass up here the most is the law of unintended consequences."