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More Workers Will Get Overtime Pay

May 19, 2016
Plain English Version
Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Many more workers will get paid for overtime starting in December. A new federal rule says all workers who earn less than $47,746 will get overtime. That means time-and-a-half pay for every hour over forty hours a week. In 2004, workers only got overtime if they earned less than $23,660.

The government says that 4.2 million workers will qualify for overtime pay. Other estimates put the number of workers much higher.

How do employees qualify? The rule covers most workers who earn below the new amount. It does not matter if they are supervisors or line workers. Some workers, such as teachers, doctors, and outside salespeople do not qualify.

The new rule will cost some employers money. It is not surprising that many employers oppose the change. Whether fair or not, some will feel they have to make changes to keep labor costs down.

Employers can do a few things. They can reduce the number of workers’ hours. If you work less than forty hours, your pay will not change. They might lower hourly wages. Workers could earn the same amount even with overtime pay.

This issue has political aspects. Republicans do not like the proposed new rule. It may hurt their business supporters.  They may try to delay it from going into effect. Donald Trump has many followers who are blue-collar workers. Can Republicans keep workers’ support if they oppose the new rule? What if  Republicans do not support the rule? Democrats will charge them with being against workers.

An Obama official said, “I welcome debate in Congress about wages in this country.”

Source: The New York Times May 17, 2016

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