Moore leads bill to nix overtime limits for outdoor recreational service providers

Bipartisan legislation offered by U.S. Rep. Blake Moore (R-UT) would exempt eligible employees engaged in outdoor recreational outfitting or guiding services from a federal overtime limit in order to support and expand America’s outdoor tourism industry. 

“The outdoor tourism industry is foundational to Utah’s economy,” Rep. Moore said. “Unfortunately, new regulations threaten to overburden this critical industry.”

Rep. Moore on Nov. 1 sponsored the Outdoor Recreational Outfitting and Guiding Act, H.R. 6128, with original cosponsor U.S. Rep. Brittany Pettersen (D-CO) to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to exempt these specific employees from maximum hours requirements.

“I am pleased to introduce this bipartisan legislation with Congresswoman Pettersen to roll back regulations that have uniquely harmed outfitters and guides,” said Rep. Moore.

According to information provided by the congressman’s staff, outdoor recreation providers who operate on federal lands are currently subject to stricter overtime requirements than other recreation establishments. Due to the nature of outdoor recreation work, guides can hit the overtime threshold within a few days, forcing companies to replace guides mid-trip or offer fewer opportunities for customers, the information says.

Enactment of H.R. 6128 would provide a common-sense exception similar to the exemption for other industries that don’t use a standard 40-hour work week model, according to Utah Gov. Spencer Cox (R).

“Millions of people each year depend on guides and outfitters to access Utah’s stunning mountains and canyons, and we want to ensure rigid federal rules don’t make those trips more expensive for Utahns and visitors to Utah,” Cox said.

Other supporters of H.R. 6128 include the American Outdoors Association, the Dude Ranchers Association, the Idaho Outfitters and Guides Association, and the Utah Guides and Outfitters.

“In parts of my district, the tourism industry is the backbone of the local economies,” said Rep. Pettersen. “I want to make sure these businesses aren’t unnecessarily burdened by work requirements. I’m glad to join Congressman Blake Moore on this bipartisan bill that will help the outdoor tourism industry and keep guides and outfitters employed.”