Local businesses consider Federal salary, overtime changes

Will it hurt or will it help? Local businesses say they’ll have to adjust when new salary and overtime rules take effect.  President Barack Obama implemented a rule to the Labor Department last week increasing the salary threshold that will allow overtime pay to salaried workers.

Employees don’t know if the extra cash will be for the best.

Between helping on the floor and managing Strickland’s Seafood, Manager Megan Harris says she works long hours. “I don’t get a break because I have to be here to make sure everyone is doing what they’re supposed to," she says.

Harris says extra money would help, but she wouldn’t want that extra cash to put her employer out of business and leave her without a job.

Owner Shawn Strickland says he’s optimistic his business will stay afloat once the changes start, because — except for during AQS QuiltWeek — he tries to keep all his employees’ workload manageable.

“We’re a small business, and that’s the way we want to keep it," Strickland says.

If you earn more than $47,500 a year in salary, you won’t qualify under the new overtime pay rule.

Harris says, with a family business like this, she’d like to keep working here.

“It may help an individual, but it could hurt a small business like this," she says. 

The Paducah Chamber of Commerce is part of the group opposing the proposed changes by the Department of Labor. The chamber believe the salary threshold will ultimately hurt small businesses.

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