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Millions of Workers to Get a Raise

March 16, 2014
Plain English Version

worers raisePresident Obama signed an executive order giving millions of American workers a boost in their wages. The order changes the rules about overtime pay.

Many American businesses call workers “supervisors.”  Who is a supervisor? Well, the rules say you can spend 95 percent of the workweek sweeping floors. However, if you supervise people (make sure they do the work) 5 percent of the time, you can be called a supervisor or an “executive.”

This means these workers are considered to be part of management and not part of labor. As supervisors, working more than 40 hours a week does not win them overtime pay. Fast food restaurants and convenience stores do this all the time.

The new rules will try to change these definitions. They will do so by increasing the percentage of time workers have to spend supervising before they can be treated as management.

Workers who make less than $455 a week cannot be called supervisors. But workers who make more than that can be. California law says overtime pay must go to all workers earning less than $640 a week. In New York the threshold is $600. Both amounts are going up in 2016.

More importantly, the new rules will increase the amount of money you have to earn to before you can be called a supervisor. One plan would place the amount at $984 a week. About 5 million workers currently earn between $455 and about $1,000 a week. These individuals would still be considered workers, not supervisors. As such, they would be eligible for overtime pay.

The business community says changes in the rules that affect payrolls will have to be looked at very carefully.

Source: The Wawshington Post                                                                                                                                                                   March 12, 2014

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