Proposed bill addresses travel agency overtime

U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney (R-Fla.) last week introduced the
Travel Advisor Retail Fairness Act, which would enable agencies to be exempt from federal overtime rules.

ASTA praised the introduction of the bill, which was
co-sponsored by Reps. Dina Titus (D-Nev.) and Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.).

The Society has worked for some time to have agencies
removed from the so-called blacklist, a Department of Labor list of businesses
ineligible for exemption from overtime rules. ASTA believes that some agencies,
based on their business model and how they compensate employees, are eligible
for exemption.

“Not only do their employees necessarily work irregular
hours to help clients facing travel disruptions, but travel agencies are the
very picture of retail businesses, and we think it’s indefensible that agencies
are denied use of this exemption from the overtime rules,” ASTA president
and CEO Zane Kerby said in a statement.

Rooney’s bill
was introduced May 2. It was referred to the House Committee on Education and

In addition to supporting Rooney’s bill and a similar one
introduced in 2017,
ASTA has filed a formal petition for rulemaking to have agencies removed from
the list,
and it has coordinated a Congressional coalition letter on the matter.

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