Congressman Francis Rooney Introduces Legislation to Remove Overreaching Regulations on Travel Agents

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Congressman Francis Rooney Introduces Legislation to Remove Overreaching Regulations on Travel Agents, May 18, 2017 | Chris Berardi (202-897-7700) | comments

Congressman Francis Rooney Introduces Legislation to Remove Overreaching Regulations on Travel Agents

 

Washington, DC – Today Congressman Francis Rooney introduced The Travel Agent Retail Fairness Act, which would remove a regulatory block and strike travel agencies from the blacklist that prohibits them from utilizing an exemption from federal overtime rules. To qualify for this exemption, an employee must work at an establishment “recognized as retail.”

 

In 1970, the Department of Labor (DOL) established a “blacklist” of industries arbitrarily blocked from the exemption, including travel agencies, with no accompanying notice that explained how those industries were chosen. The intent of the exemption was to cover services to the public, involving sales in small quantities and no manufacturing, provided by an employee in those establishments makes at least one and a half times the applicable minimum wage and in which more than half of the employee’s total earnings consist of commissions, a standard most travel agencies meet. 

 

Congressman Rooney stated, “Eliminating harmful regulations on our small business community is a key component of economic growth and job creation. The idea that travel agencies “lack a retail concept” and therefore must be subject to federal overtime rules is arbitrary and overreaching. The exemption travel agencies are seeking is in line with similar industries and should be granted immediately.”

 

There are over 10,000 travel agents in Florida and the industry generates over $550 million in economic impact to the state economy. Travel agencies are predominantly small businesses, with 80% of agencies employing less than 5 people.

 

Francis Rooney is the U.S. Representative for Florida's 19th congressional district. He serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Committee on Education and the Workforce. 

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