Photo (cc) by 401(K) 2013
Millions of Americans could receive a pay boost later this month.
That’s when the U.S. Department of Labor is expected to finalize updated federal regulations regarding overtime pay, CNN Money reports.
This change stems from President Barack Obama’s March 2014 directive for the Department of Labor to update regulations that define which white-collar workers are eligible for overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
According to data released by the White House last year, federal law currently guarantees overtime pay for most salaried workers who fall below a salary threshold of $23,660 per year ($455 per week).
The Labor Department’s current proposal would bump the threshold up to $47,892 per year ($921 per week).
The proposal made headlines again this week, when Democratic U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts released a report highlighting public comments from workers and their families in support of the proposal, which she said would benefit more than 13.5 million workers.
Warren wrote in a letter to the administration:
“Too often, the voices of workers are buried beneath a flood of comments from lobbyists and lawyers. But the record before your agency demonstrates that American workers are demanding updated overtime rules. Updated overtime rules will give millions of working families a fighting chance to build more financial security for themselves. It’s time for us all to listen to those voices.”
The effect of the proposed new regulation has been a topic of debate, however.
For example, the Wall Street Journal argued last month that the Labor Department is not being straightforward about the impact of the change:
More overtime pay sounds great. But what Labor fails to mention — and its economists surely understand — is instead of paying more workers overtime, many companies will simply cut back their hours or lower their salaries. That’s not a story Labor is comfortable telling. So it doesn’t.
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