Missouri businesses can get information about preparing for a federal overtime rule through a webinar being offered by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The rule, which begins in December, will extend overtime pay to those making up to $47,000 a year and working more than 40 hours a week.

Chamber general counsel Brian Bunten says several businesses have been asking questions about the rule.

Brian Bunten

Brian Bunten

“We had a large demand for something, some sort of insight from the Missouri Chamber of Commerce on how businesses and corporations and other entities are to respond to this new Department of Labor overtime rule,” says Bunten. “Folks are calling in and asking us questions. We are getting emails almost every day. Surprisingly, we are getting a lot of questions from local Chambers of Commerce because it impacts them too. It’s a very broad, far reaching rule.”

President Obama ordered the rule change earlier this year.

“No matter what type of enterprise you are engaged in, whether it’s for profit, non-profit, small or big, this (rule) probably has some sort of impact on you,” says Bunten.

Supporters of the rule say it will help workers receive a fair wage, while critics of the rule say it will force some employers to cut full time workers’ hours and benefits.

“I think a lot of our more established, larger employer members have the resources to kind of adapt and maybe bring people up to that threshold and it’s not a big deal. It’s the smaller employers and smaller entities who are members of the chamber who are reaching out to us and they are panicking,” says Bunten. “They don’t know what to do. They operate on slim margins as is. Now they’re being told by the federal government that you have to adjust how you run your business and they are pretty fearful.”

The 25-minute webinar is available until August 23rd to chamber members for $25 and non-members for $50. Labor law experts Randy Thompson and Anthony Grice with Husch Blackwell will give an in-depth perspective about the new federal rule and give advice about how employers should prepare.

The webinar is available on the Missouri Chamber’s website, www.mochamber.com Webinar participants can also join a question and answer conference call at 10 a.m. on August 23.