After Fighting Since 2016, ASTA and Travel Agencies Win ‘Black List’ Verdict | Instant News

U.S. Department of Labor announced on Tuesday that it would revoke its “blacklist” of regulations which prevented agents from being released from overtime enforcement.
The news means that agents will be freed from the same DOL overtime rules as other retail businesses. Advisers will now be included in the list of employees, paid primarily on a commission basis, exempt from overtime rules. The news will allow agency owners and advisers the flexibility they need to do.
“We commend the Department of Labor for recognizing that travel advisors often work at irregular hours to help clients deal with travel disruptions, as seen recently during the COVID crisis, and that travel agents must have equal access to this release from overtime rules like any other retail business, “said Zane Kerby, president and CEO of ASTA.
“In addition, we are very grateful to Congressman Rooney, Congressman Titus, and other board members who have taken our actions over the past few years. After the COVID crisis has passed, our industry will be in a better position to serve clients thanks to this change. ”
ASTA has been targeting this issue since 2016, including spending time in several days of legislation meeting with members of Congress and explaining how this issue has an impact on agency business.
ASTA has also submitted a formal petition for regulation and provided its support behind the 2019 Travel Advisor Retail Fairness Act of Congress which will have the same impact as Monday’s decision.
“While maintaining their business through the coronavirus crisis is the main focus of our current members, this welcome step will provide a measure of legal assistance once business returns,” said Eben Peck, executive vice president of advocacy for ASTA.
“ASTA has been actively involved with policy makers on this issue for more than four years, but this type of successful advocacy work is a team effort. If you attend ASTA’s Legislative Day, if you respond to our grassroots call to action, if you contribute to ASTAPAC, or even if you support ASTA with your membership fees, you share credit for this victory. ”

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