Obama administration proposes expansion to employee overtime pay
<![CDATA[The Obama administration, along with the U.S. Department of Labor, has proposed a measure that would allow a significantly higher percentage of Americans to qualify for overtime pay. The details of the proposal have not yet been released, but reports state that the overtime threshold — currently at $23,660 annual salary — could be raised to as high as $52,000. Under the current threshold, any salaried, white-collar employee who earns more than $23,660 per year does not qualify for overtime pay. Only about 12 percent of the workforce is eligible for overtime pay under this threshold, which falls below the poverty line. (Some estimate that fewer than 10 percent qualify.) The overtime threshold has not been adjusted since 1975. In the 1970s, more than 60 percent of employees qualified for overtime. By increasing the threshold to $50,000, more than 5 million additional workers (and up to an estimated 10 million workers) would qualify for overtime pay. This updated threshold would be more in line with the median income in America. Business lobbyists and Republicans in Congress are expected to attempt to fight the passing of this proposal, despite not knowing entirely what the proposal would entail. Some argue that employers will cut employee hours in an attempt to avoid having to pay them overtime. The Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee Sen. Lamar Alexander said this measure “seems engineered to make it as unappealing as possible to be an employer creating jobs in this country. However, back in March 2014, President Obama wrote that “[Overtime regulations] have not kept up with our modern economy.” The current overtime threshold has not increased with inflation. The President does not have to get Congress’ approval in order to pass this measure. Republicans can introduce legislation in an attempt to fight it, but President Obama can veto opposing legislation.]]>
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