Overtime? It’s on the House

Well, isn’t this a shame:

Brad Fitch, president and CEO of the Congressional Management Foundation, told Bloomberg BNA Feb. 16 that House “Democratic chiefs of staff are freaking out” about finding room in their budget for overtime wages.

It’s not clear whether the Obama administration’s forthcoming edict on overtime will apply to legislative staffers, but House Democratic leadership decided it would be prudent for their members to at least gesture toward the spirit of the controversial rule by preparing for compliance. [BNA Daily Labor Report] Now “the rule is creating administrative headaches” and more:

“We don’t have a set-hour kind of situation here; some kids work 12, 14, 16 hours a day, weekends, and I feel terrible that I cannot afford to give raises to the staff,” Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) told Bloomberg BNA Feb. 11.

With $320,000 slashed from members’ representational allowances (MRAs) over the past four years, “I don’t see how we could pay overtime” for the “17 or 18 people that each of us is allowed to have—that’s problematic for me,” added Hastings, a senior member of the House Rules Committee.

Some members fear that an overtime mandate will result in having to send staffers home at 5 p.m., leaving phones unanswered and impairing constituent service. “Most members are of the sentiment that it’s impractical to be paying overtime,” said former Virginia Democratic Rep. Jim Moran, now a lobbyist, who suggests that members choose to close one of their district offices or reduce constituent correspondence to adjust to a smaller staff number.

In the bonbon box of schadenfreude, this is one of the ones I would save to eat last.


  • I am laughing so hard I’m crying. Poor Congress. If there was only something they could do about this ridiculous rule…

  • A la unions, an exemption can’t be far behind….

  • I can’t be concerned with every undercapitalized legislator


  • If it wasn’t for double standards most politicians wouldn’t have any standards at all. Of course the solution is more tax dollars. I love how every budget cut or more likely slight reduction in a mandatory increase, only effects firefighters, EMT, and of course the people that actually answer the phones and talk to the constituents.

  • Just wait until they learn they are responsible for “voluntary” overtime, i.e., conscientious staff members who try to help their bosses by taking work home without expectation of pay for doing it. This has trapped many a small business man whose over zealous assistants tried to help them with their “stealth” work.
    And smart phones, email and the like are in the mix of compensated work for the lower paid “exempt” employees, easily traceable by records.
    It is almost a sure thing they will throw up their hands and exempt themselves from this onerous proposal.

  • Heh. Heh heh. Heh-heh-heh. heh-heh-heh-HAHAHA.
    Oh god it hurts so good….

  • The reference to Representative Alcee Hastings is somewhat interesting.

    Hastings was impeached from his position as a Federal judge in 1989, but that didn’t stop him from being elected to his current position.


    Back in the present, if Hastings can’t find the money to pay for staff, maybe he should lower the salary of his girlfriend whom he has employed since 2000 and has made over $2.2 million dollars off of taxpayers.


  • From Federalist #57:

    “I will add, as a fifth circumstance in the situation of the House of Representatives, restraining them from oppressive measures, that they can make no law which will not have its full operation on themselves and their friends, as well as on the great mass of the society. This has always been deemed one of the strongest bonds by which human policy can connect the rulers and the people together. It creates between them that communion of interests and sympathy of sentiments, of which few governments have furnished examples; but without which every government degenerates into tyranny. If it be asked, what is to restrain the House of Representatives from making legal discriminations in favor of themselves and a particular class of the society? I answer: the genius of the whole system; the nature of just and constitutional laws; and above all, the vigilant and manly spirit which actuates the people of America — a spirit which nourishes freedom, and in return is nourished by it.

    “If this spirit shall ever be so far debased as to tolerate a law not obligatory on the legislature, as well as on the people, the people will be prepared to tolerate any thing but liberty.”

    It’s too bad that the “vigilant and many spirit” is today represented by the likes of Sanders and Trump, but there may be no doubt that the people of America are now “actuate[d],” not least by the achieved reality that our leaders operate under different rules* than they impose on the rest of us. While “Publius” might disagree in the details, were “he” observing this presidential campaign, I respectfully suggest that he might readily cheer on the groundswell of spirit thus displayed.

    * note here, for another example: http://dailycaller.com/2016/02/10/could-congress-obamacare-exemption-be-in-trouble/

  • […] new overtime rules stink” at least as applied to themselves [Suzanne Lucas, Evil HR Lady, earlier] Knowing whether you’re in FLSA compliance can be tricky enough to fool HR specialists [Eric […]