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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, July 3, 2015 - Volume 43 Issue 27
New federal overtime rules: Who is eligible?
Section One
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New federal overtime rules: Who is eligible?

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

If you are a salaried employee making less than $970 per week, or $50,440 per year, and you work more than 40 hours per week, you will be eligible to collect overtime, if new rules proposed by President Obama go into effect.

The president announced the new overtime rules on June 29.

'In this country, a hard day's work deserves a fair day's pay,' Obama wrote in an op-ed for The Huffington Post. 'That's at the heart of what it means to be middle class in America.'

Under current rules, salaried employees who make more than $455 a week or $23,660 per year are considered management and are not eligible for overtime pay even if they work more than 40 hours per week.

The new rules could raise pay for nearly 5 million American workers and are a key part of a White House campaign to reduce income inequality. Obama first announced his intention to overhaul federal overtime rules last March.

'Right now, too many Americans are working long days for less pay than they deserve,' Obama wrote in The Huffington Post. 'That's partly because we've failed to update overtime regulations for years.'

The new rules are 'good for workers who want fair pay, and it's good for business owners who are already paying their employees what they deserve - since those who are doing right by their employees are undercut by competitors who aren't,' Obama wrote.

The president's proposal will be subject to a public comment period and could take effect in 2016.

Predictably, business groups and Republicans in Congress oppose the change. GOP members of the House Education and Workforce Committee held a hearing earlier this month to blast the rules.

Cory Fritz, a spokesperson for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said that 'instead of working in a bipartisan way to streamline and modernize regulations,' the Obama administration is 'proposing a new executive order that will limit opportunities and increase costs.'

On the other hand, the president has the backing of Congressional Democrats and labor unions, who have urged the administration to raise the overtime threshold.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka called it 'a critically important step' toward raising wages for all Americans, but only a step because business owners can still deny overtime to employees.

'We will continue fighting until every worker who deserves overtime protections is paid for all their time worked,' Trumka said.

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Marriage equality must begin in every county. Now.

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