Louisiana Bankers Discuss Negative Effects of Overtime Proposal

Three ABA member banks in Louisiana participated in a Small Business Administration roundtable on the Department of Labor’s proposal to increase to $50,440 the threshold required for employees to be exempt from overtime payments under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Susie Rowe, EVP and CFO of Washington State Bank, Washington; Jeremy Callais, COO and CFO of M C Bank and Trust, Morgan City; and Kim Carver, SVP and HR director at Gulf Coast Bank and Trust Company, New Orleans, presented the effects on their banks of the DoL proposal, which more than doubles the salary level required for FLSA exemptions, regardless of the employees’ duties.

The bankers said that DoL did not consider the variance in the cost of living from state to state and that its estimate of costs to employers is too low. They also explained how the proposal would hurt the morale of changing employee status to non-exempt and strongly urged DoL not to make any changes to the duties tests without providing the opportunity to comment on specific regulatory language.

ABA opposes these changes and is also part of the Partnership to Protect Workplace Opportunity, a broad coalition of trade associations opposing the proposal. To inform its comment letter, ABA is seeking additional feedback from bankers on how the overtime proposal will affect their employees. In particular, ABA is looking for numbers of employees who would be affected, local cost of living and salary information, potential costs of overtime, concerns about morale, the effect on bank operations and the viability of smaller branches. To share information, which will be kept anonymous, contact ABA’s Cris Naser.