Rising minimum wages are bad enough, but generally we can offset them with price increases (remember that, though, next time you get ticked off about your camping fees going up). As an aside, not every business is in a competitive position that they can do this.
But the new Obama Administration rules greatly scaling back on our ability to have our managers be exempt employees is far, far worse. Because its not just money, but it changes the entire relationship between me and my managers. Most of my managers don't want to be hourly employees (you should see the complaint emails I am getting since I announced that this is likely coming) and have pride they have moved beyond timeclock punching. Also, I think a lot understand they are not going to make more from this, and they may even make less. To the extent they are working overtime today (and they all are) they will not be allowed to work overtime in the future. So I will have to hire someone else to do those extra tasks, and that person's salary is likely to come in part from what the managers are making now.
These next few months I am having all of my salaried managers fill out time sheets just for analytical purposes. I need to know how bad this is going to be. If you run a business, you shouldn't be waiting for next year to do something, you need to be thinking and analyzing right now how you are going to handle these rules.
In McCutchen's view, the administration fails to understand that "it's still the same pot of money that's available to compensate the employee," whether a worker is classified as exempt or nonexempt. So if overtime pay is required, a likely result will be to strictly limit overtime hours worked, despite the adverse effect on productivity, rather than—as the administration expects—to increase the employee's annual compensation.
While many non-executive employees view themselves as professionals and react negatively when shifted to hourly compensation, "the DOL wants nearly everyone to be nonexempt, and to sign in and clock out as do unionized workers," McCutchen contended. "They don't believe that some employees prefer to be salaried, with guaranteed pay and the flexibility to adjust when they do their work."
Postscript: I guess I just don't understand the vision that is in the head of Progressives. How does it help their stated goal of empowering the average Joe to convert him from a valued, up-and-coming junior manager to a 40 hour a week timeclock puncher? How will people ever be able to migrate from lower end jobs to management positions if there are not junior manager positions in which they can demonstrate their energy and dedication? I suppose they must believe that junior managers will still be doing the same things and working the same hours, but just earning lots of extra overtime with these new rules. If that is really what they think, they are completely divorced from reality.