The President Releases A New Draft Overtime Rule
You know the story: Americans are working longer but wages aren’t keeping up. Now, thanks to President Obama’s new overtime rule, that is about to change for nearly 5 million workers. Currently, the only salaried workers guaranteed the right to overtime pay are those earning less than $23,660 per year. The administration’s new rule more than doubles that—raising the salary threshold to $50,440. That means that millions of hardworking middle-class Americans are going to get fairly compensated for their work. And that in turn will help the whole economy.
Americans are overdue for an overtime update. In 1975, more than 60 percent of full-time salaried workers earned time-and-a-half pay for every hour worked over 40 hours per week. Today, just 8 percent do. The rule was put in place to protect the middle class, but the threshold has fallen so much that current overtime law no longer covers middle class workers.
The new rule will raise the salary threshold to cover all full-time workers earning $970 a week–or $50,440 a year–or less and prevent future erosion of overtime by automatically updating the salary threshold based on either inflation or wage growth over time. Under the new rule, workers and employers will also enjoy clarity about who should be earning overtime. CAP Action, along with the Economic Policy Institute, has created a website with more information about what the new rule will do and how you can help. On it, you can check out this handy calculator to see how the new rule could benefit you.
Strengthening worker protections like overtime pay will help ensure that workers are fairly compensated for their hard work and will put extra money in the pocket of millions of middle-class workers. But this fix won’t happen on its own–-already, special interest groups are working against the law. Now that the draft rule has been released there is an important comment period before the rule will become final and the Department Of Labor needs to hear your voice. Visit FixOvertime.org and submit a comment letter directly to Secretary Tom Perez explaining how the rule could help you.
BOTTOM LINE: Ensuring that a hard day’s work earns a fair day’s pay is good for everyone. Strengthening overtime protections is one of several policies that could put more money in the pockets of hard-working, middle class families, helping create an economy that works for everyone, not just the wealthy few. And more money in the pocket of workers means more money spent at local businesses, helping the whole economy.
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