On the Advancement of the New Federal Overtime Rules

In response to the Labor Department’s referral of its proposed overtime rules to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the below statement can be attributed to Christine Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project:

“Millions of workers have reason to cheer the Labor Department’s referral of its proposed overtime rules update to the OMB today for final review. At a time when too many workers still struggle to find enough work at decent pay, millions of others work excessive hours with no right to extra compensation for the work they do. The cost to those workers and their families is enormous, but our economy bears a real cost too, as excessive uncompensated overtime undermines job creation and ensuring adequate hours for all.

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“The Labor Department has engaged in a comprehensive review of the existing rules covering salaried ‘white collar’ workers and has decided how those rules should be updated to make sure more workers are paid fairly for the work they do. The ball has now shifted to OMB’s court. We urge OMB to act quickly to review the Department’s proposal and authorize its release for public comment.

“Low wages, wage stagnation, and growing income inequality are gut-wrenching facts of life for tens of millions of workers and their families, a weight on our economy and an impediment to fulfilling the promise of economic opportunity and security through work for all of America’s workers. Updating the overtime rules and passing the Raise the Wage Act of 2015 are vital steps our leaders, elected and appointed, can take to raise wages for low- and middle-income workers. We applaud the Administration for its commitment to both of these vital steps.

“Building an inclusive economy in which prosperity is fairly shared starts from the bottom up and moves to the middle out. Following just days after Labor Secretary Tom Perez’s impassioned support for raising the federal minimum wage to $12, the Department took the next crucial step today in moving the proposed overtime revisions to OMB. Now, OMB should expedite its review of these significant reforms. After decades of falling wages for most workers and 77 years after passage of the Fair Labor Standards Act, it’s past time to restore the promise of a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work to all who work in America.”

For more information please see NELP’s report: The Case for Reforming Federal Overtime Rules: Stories from America’s Middle Class.

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