Proposed Obama regs will govern Gutiérrez’ Congressional employees regardless of whether Congress adopts them.
Washington, DC –(ENEWSPF)–July 27, 2015. Today, Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) announced that proposed Obama overtime regulations would apply to his congressional employees in Washington and Chicago regardless of whether the U.S. Congress moves to adopt them when final. The rules, announced this summer and still in the comment period until September, would raise the cap from $23,660 per year to $50,440 per year at which employees could earn time-and-a-half for overtime. Congress generally does not abide by private sector or public sector standards, setting its own rules on employee compensation. For example, Congress still abides by the 1996 standard of $13,000 per year as the threshold to trigger overtime for salaried employees.
“I applauded the President when he announced the new regulations so I plan to institute them in my own office, regardless of what the rest of the Congress does or doesn’t do,” Rep. Gutiérrez said. “Like every Member of Congress, I am basically a small employer, with an average of 18 full-time, salaried staff. But if these regulations are good enough for American workers in the private and public sectors, they ought to be good enough for me and my colleagues in the House and Senate.”
Congressional offices receive an annual lump-sum allotment to run their Washington and District offices, known as the Members’ Representational Allowance (MRA). The U.S. Congress sets overall personnel policies, but these are updated infrequently and are often out of step with the rest of the federal government and the private sector. The Congressman has 18 permanent employees and more than half of them would be covered by the new policy.
“Congressional staffers are not paid a lot, they work incredibly hard, and they do it under pressure, but there is no reason my office should be different than any other business on West Fullerton Avenue or in D.C.,” the Congressman said. “It is about fairness and investing in the good work people do and I am proud to do it.”
The Congressman said he would institute the new overtime structure in time for Labor Day and would encourage all of his colleagues to do the same.
“Let’s put our money where our mouths are and follow the new overtime rules whether Speaker Boehner makes us or not,” the Congressman said.
Rep. Gutiérrez represents the Fourth District of Illinois, is a Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, is a Member of the Judiciary Committee and the Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security, and is the Co-Chair of the Immigration Task Force of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. His Chicago District Office is located at 3240 W. Fullerton Avenue.