Nevada reactions mixed to changes in federal overtime rules

The Labor Department estimates 31,000 Nevada workers will be affected by changes to the federal overtime law that takes effect Dec. 1.

How those workers will be affected is up for debate. For some businesses, the new law is another costly federal regulation with which to comply. For others, it’s an opportunity to pay it forward.

There are no local business survey data on attitudes toward the law, but Gina Bongiovi, a Las Vegas corporate attorney, says “we’re probably about 50-50,” based on conversations with clients.

Under the new overtime rules, managers and other white-collar workers earning less than $47,476 annually instead of the current threshold of $23,000 annually will have a right to time-and-a-half overtime pay. The Labor Department will automatically update the salary threshold every three years, based on economic indicators from the Southeast, which is the lowest-paying region in the country.

Although the White House and Labor Department tout the new rules as a step toward decreasing national income inequality, chambers of commerce across the country, including the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce, are bracing for a major disruption.


“The Metro Chamber is concerned that these administrative changes may hinder job creation and economic growth in Nevada,” spokeswoman Clara Clarke said in a monthly chamber magazine article.

The chamber, which opposes the new rules, has urged its members to contact congressional representatives in hope of preventing the rules from being enforced.

But local business owners are far from a consensus on the topic.

Jeff Grace, CEO of Las Vegas-based information technology service company NetEffect, said he estimates he has three employees who are below the Labor Department’s new threshold.

“I believe the plan is to increase their compensation and make them salaried. It’s just going to cost us more money,” Grace said, adding that he sees no upside to the new rules.

“My attitude toward issues like this is while we don’t like it, it applies to everybody … If I have to abide by it, then my competitor has to abide by it,” he said.

Meanwhile, Troy Wilkinson, founder and CEO of Las Vegas-based Axiom Cyber Solutions, said the law will affect 10 of his 18 employees. He said he will dole out time-and-a-half overtime pay rather than raise compensation.

“It will have an impact, but I think it’s fair,” Wilkinson said. “Before, if you were a salaried employee making less than the threshold, you could be working 80 hours a week and not get compensated for it.

I fell into that category myself at two jobs before this one, so I think it’s a great law.”

Although paying overtime will have a significant cost, he said would help create a work-life balance within his company, which would mean happier employees.


Although Grace and Wilkinson, both in the technology sector, said the overtime changes will not affect hiring, other sectors will be affected differently.

Jason Bruckman, regional vice president of Eastridge Workforce Solutions, said the law is a mixed bag. Eastridge provides recruitment and other services to U.S. businesses representing a variety of sectors, such as health care, manufacturing, construction and finance.

“I don’t think it’s going to affect larger businesses as much, but it will be up to small businesses on how to cope,” Bruckman said.

He predicts a number of small businesses might even lower the hourly wage to keep qualified employees at the same yearly number after overtime pay.

Eastridge has 34 employees in Las Vegas, and 300 nationally, Bruckman said. Five or six local employees will be affected by the changes and 30 to 45 employees nationally.

It’s too early to tell how Eastridge will cope with the overtime changes, but the company’s hiring practices will change, he said.

“It will impact where we start people — whether we do an hourly or salary (starting position),” he said.

The overtime rules won’t freeze his company’s hiring in Las Vegas, though, since he said the local market is moving “too fast” amid a falling unemployment rate as the local economy rebounds from the Great Recession.

If a major “disruptive” federal change is inevitable, then “this is the time to do it,” Bruckman said.


Businesses are still learning about the changes and gathering information, but Bongiovi said clients are frustrated.

“I just (made a presentation) to a group of contractors and they’re all sort of panicked about it because they’re trying to keep up and make all those changes now, or be prepared for them when they actually come into effect,” she said.

Contact Nicole Raz at or 702-380-4512. Find @JournalistNikki on Twitter.

Dig This opens new location In Las Vegas
Remember when you were a kid and played with construction toys in the sand box? Dig This Las Vegas has the same idea, except instead of toy bulldozers, you get to play with the real thing. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Town Square developer Jim Stuart building again in Las Vegas
Las Vegas’ real estate bubble took developers on a wild ride, something Jim Stuart knows all too well. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Salon opens at Veterans Village
T.H.E. Salon, owned by Nicole Christie, celebrated their opening at the Veterans Village with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
Southwest Airlines considering Las Vegas-Hawaii flights
Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly says the airline is "very focused" on Hawaii. Hawaiians have a strong presence in Las Vegas.The city’s unofficial status is “Hawaii’s ninth island.” In 2018, at least 2,958 people from Hawaii moved to Nevada. Of those, 88.7 percent moved into Clark County, according to driver license surrender data. According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, 310,249 people came to Las Vegas from Hawaii in 2018.
Fewer Nevadans are celebrating Valentine's Day
Fewer Nevadans are celebrating Valentine's Day. About 1.2 million Nevadans are expected to celebrate this year, a 5 percent drop from 2018. A growing number of people consider Valentine’s Day over-commercialized. Others weren’t interested in the holiday or had nobody to celebrate with. But spending is expected to rise. Those who do celebrate are buying for more people. The average American is expected to spend about $162 this year for Valentine’s Day, a 57 percent jump from a decade prior. Katherine Cullen, director of industry and consumer insights at NRF
Foreclosures of mansions in Las Vegas
Las Vegas was ground zero for America's foreclosure crisis after the housing bubble burst. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Rick Helfenbein talks about the impact of tariffs on the clothing industry
MAGIC fashion convention showcases men's clothing trends
The MAGIC fashion convention has come to Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center to showcase some of the hottest clothing trends for men. (Nathan Asselin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Allegiant Air flight attendants learn how to handle a water landing
Field instructor Ashleigh Markel talks about training prospective flight attendants for Allegiant Air getting live training with a raft for a water landing at the Heritage Park Aquatic Complex in Henderson on Monday. (John Hornberg/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Smith & Wollensky CEO Michael Feighery speaks
Smith & Wollensky CEO Michael Feighery speaks about the new Smith & Wollensky restaurant coming to the Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian in Las Vegas.
Smith & Wollensky CEO Michael Feighery speaks
Smith & Wollensky CEO Michael Feighery speaks about the new Smith & Wollensky restaurant coming to the Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian in Las Vegas.
Smith & Wollensky CEO Michael Feighery talks about Las Vegas return
Michael Feighery, CEO of Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group, discusses the restaurant's upcoming return to the Las Vegas Strip.
Apartments to Come to Hughes Center
Developer Eric Cohen discusses his current building project at the Hughes Center office park in Las Vegas, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019. Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Stratosphere to rebrand to The STRAT
The Stratosphere, a 1,150-foot-tall property in Las Vegas will be renamed The STRAT Hotel, Casino and Skypod.
Local designers’ picks for the Las Vegas Market
The trends that local interior designers are noticing at the Las Vegas Market this year. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trends in bath products at Las Vegas Market
Camille Herd, the showroom manager for European Bath Kitchen Tile & Stone, talks about the popularity of free-standing bath tubs. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Kitchen trends at Las Vegas Winter Market
Las Vegas Winter Market displayed kitchen trends that mirror common dining accessories at Strip eateries. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Emerging trends in gifts at Las Vegas Market
Julie Smith Vincenti, curator for the First Look showroom tour on gifts and lifestyle, talks about the emerging trends in those categories for this season. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Las Vegas house prices are rising
Southern Nevada home prices were up 12 percent year-over-year in November.
Caesars Republic Scottsdale
Caesars Entertainment Corp. is building its first non-gaming hotel in the United States in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Caesars Entertainment Corp.)
Interior designer Mikel Welch talks about trends for Las Vegas Market
Interior designer Mikel Welch, who also is the on-camera designer for TLC’s Trading Spaces, discusses the trends he sees for the 2019 Las Vegas Winter Market. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
SHOT Show 2019: MEGGITT Virtual Training
MEGGIT showcases its virtual training system at SHOT Show 2019 in Las Vegas.
MGM delivers 700 meals to TSA workers at McCarran
Chefs at Garde Manger at Mandalay Bay provided 700 meals to federal employees who are affected by the government shutdown. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
SHOT Show 2019: A "nonsemi-automatic” weapon
Brandon Dunham of Nevada-based Franklin Armory show off the company’s new rifle prototype it calls a “nonsemi-automatic” weapon. The gun does not use a gas system to fire.
Las Vegas-based concrete repair company knows how to beat the heat
ART Concrete Solutions, a Las Vegas concrete-repair firm, addresses the challenges of construction in the extreme heat and sun of Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Las Vegas based company brings color to concrete in the desert heat
Semco Modern Seamless Surface, a Las Vegas surface engineering company, knows how to put color in concrete construction in the Vegas heat. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Fun photo booth at World of Concrete
World of Concrete show at the Las Vegas Convention Center sponsored by DeWalt gives conventioneers a chance for photos with giant tools. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
SHOT Show 2019: Laserstar Technologies
Laerstar Technologies showed off their laser engraving machines, that can be used to personalize anything from guns and knives, to medical tools and household items. (Mick Akers/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
World of Concrete Show has big equipment on display
World of Concrete Show has big equipment on display at the Las Vegas Convention Center including an impact crusher, concrete pump and a self-erecting portable concrete batch plant. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Shot Show 2019: Kalashnikov USA shows off new products
Jonathan Mossberg of Kalashnikov USA talks about new products on display at Shot Show 2019 in Las Vegas.
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like