ABC News: Proposed Labor Department changes could mean overtime pay for millions of salary workers

Millions of Americans could soon see more money in their paychecks, as President Obama pushes to change rules that qualify workers for overtime.

Proposed changes could double the number of Americans who qualify for overtime pay, and advocates say salaried employees are affected the most. Under federal law, salaried workers making at least $455 a week are exempt from overtime pay, which is less than $24,000 a year.

These workers do not currently qualify for overtime pay, and advocates like Judy Conti with the National Employment Law Project say it’s a problem.

“You have a person at Walmart getting paid $25,000 a year, who spends most of their time on the floor doing regular hourly work–has to work 50 to 60 hours a week–and doesn’t get overtime,” said Conti.

Workers with titles like manager and supervisor are also exempt from overtime pay, according to federal guidelines. The new change would allow employees to keep their title, and get paid more.

“With this new regulation–even though you still might be called a manager or supervisor under your employer’s compensation scheme–you can still be reclassified as overtime eligible and get more money in your paycheck,” said Conti.

The National Employment Law Project wants to see the overtime threshold include all workers making about $51,000 a year, but big business may not embraces the new rules because of increased labor costs. Employers would have to switch some salary workers to hourly, or hire more workers.

The Labor Department could publish the regulations any day now, and President Obama hopes to finalize the change before he leaves office.

Read the full article at ABC News.


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