370,000 Michigan Jobs At Risk If HB 6213 Is Not Signed Into Law and Put Into Effect Before October 1, 2006
The Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) is supporting a coalition of job providers and employees that is urging Governor Jennifer Granholm's approval and immediate legislative effect for House Bill 6213, which was approved by the legislature and which reinstates critical overtime exemptions that were unintentionally eliminated when the minimum wage increase was approved earlier this year.
In passing HB 6213, lawmakers fell short of enough votes to put the law into immediate effect, which means problems with the existing legislation will not be corrected until April 1, 2007. The delay of several months could impact as many as 370,000 jobs across Michigan including more than half of the members of the MAB.
“Without this legislative fix, thousands of commissioned sales personnel will lose their overtime exemption,” said Karole White, MAB President & CEO. “That could result in commissioned sales employees making less money than they do now because they won't be allowed to work as many hours.”
Broadcasters will be hit with a double whammy. In addition to the problems caused by overtime for sales people, smaller markets face an additional hardship without an exemption for on-air staff, news editors and engineers.
“News doesn't happen with in a 40 hour week,” White said. “Stations in those markets could be forced to reduce coverage of local news, community events and severe weather situations resulting from staff reductions that may occur unless HB 6213 goes into effect October 1.”
“The failure to correct the state's new minimum wage law to include existing overtime exemptions could do substantial damage to the state's economy,” said White.
“Estimated cost to Michigan stations range from a low of $30,000.00 for a very small market operator without a news staff to over $1 million dollars to our larger group-owned stations and this does not even take into account the cost of software changes needed to calculate the new pay scale.
“The MAB has no issue with the increase in minimum wage,” White said. “Plenty of the employees at stations receive overtime, like clerical employees and those in unionized shops. These people will not lose their over time. MAB members just can't afford to add the higher paying, salaried positions which are paid on performance rather than hourly to our human resources costs. It is not good for the station or the employee.”