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Obama: Overhauling Overtime Pay Regulations


Written By: Brenda (B.K.) Walker

August 2015

President Obama has continued his efforts to make long-standing, and what many believe as long-overdue, changes within the government that directly impact countless Americans across this country. Part of that movement includes proposed changes to the overtime pay regulations for salaried employees.

According to a United States Department of Labor release published on July 6, 2015…

"Today the Department of Labor has announced a proposed rule that would extend overtime protections to nearly 5 million white collar workers within the first year of its implementation. Failure to update the overtime regulations has left an exception to overtime eligibility originally meant for highly-compensated executive, administrative, and professional employees now applying to workers earning as little as $23,660 a year."

Back in the USA News Story: Obama: Overhauling Overtime Pay Regulations. www.backintheusa.us

The current overtime salary threshold of $23,660 is less than the poverty level for a family of four, which is $24,250. There hasn't been a change in the threshold since the Bush administration in 2008. President Obama's proposal would increase the threshold to $50,400 per year.

In a July IndustryWeek article, Alabama labor Attorney, Bryance Metheny, was quoted as saying:

"Metheny says the battle over the rule, which includes a four-month comment period, is 'far from over,' but is advising his clients not to expect big changes in the proposal. It could be implemented in early 2016. 'There could be some compromise, perhaps on the number. But it's going to be substantial. And it's going to be a lot higher than the $23,660 we're currently dealing with—which, frankly, is absurdly low.'"

Back in the USA News Story: Obama: Overhauling Overtime Pay Regulations. www.backintheusa.us

The same IndustryWeek article quoted the National Association of Manufacturers response to the proposed changes:

"…declaring that it would lead to the 'demotion of at least 5 million Americans. Manufacturers are proud of the modern workplaces and high salaries they offer their workforce, and this proposed regulation is another in a long list of regulatory roadblocks to healthy and robust economic growth and job creation,' NAM said in a statement. 'We will continue to pursue policies that allow manufacturers to create high-paying, good jobs and vigorously oppose policies that are counterproductive to achieving that goal.'"

There are those who feel the comments by NAM are, at the very least, contradictory in nature, in that if the manufacturing industry does, indeed, pay its salaried workers so well, then the proposed threshold increase were not be an issue.

The Huffington Post reported the President saying, in a previous interview,

"'What we've seen is, increasingly, companies skirting basic overtime laws, calling somebody a manager when they're stocking groceries and getting paid $30,000 a year.' Obama said. 'These folks are being cheated.'"

PBS NewsHour featured the story of Gassan Marzuq, a manager at Dunkin' Donuts that took legal action against the company stating that he should have been paid overtime for the countless times he worked over 40 hours a week, working, at times, as many as 70 hours per week.

Read more of the Huff Post Politics article: Obama To Unveil Plan To Bring Overtime Pay to 5 Million More Works

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Other Articles of Interest:

Applicants-Ready Your Mark—Get Set—Start Your Training!

Gravity Payments: Were Salary Raises A Solution that Caused More Problems?

Are the Rising U.S. Hourly Wages Merely Smoke and Mirrors?

Winners and Losers—The Rich and Poor in America

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