News » Citydesk

UPDATE: Obama Wants to Qualify 5 Million More Americans for Overtime Pay

by

minimum_wage.jpg
UPDATE: July 1, 2015

Officials with the Idaho AFL-CIO said as many as 20,000 Gem State workers would get "the overtime pay they deserve" through President Barack Obama's plan to raise the thresholds of overtime-eligible Americans.

"This is a critically important step forward for the Raising Wages Agenda, but it is just that — a first step," wrote Idaho State AFL-CIO President Aaron White in a prepared statement. "We recognize that while the proposal will help working families in Idaho and across the country, many more working people will still be denied overtime pay by their employer. We will continue fighting until every worker who deserves overtime protections is paid for all their time worked.

ORIGINAL POST: June 30, 2015

President Barack Obama says he's prepared to call for an expansion of overtime pay for nearly 5 million Americans by 2016. Currently, workers who earn more than $455 a week or $23,660 annually can't claim overtime pay because they're considered "managers." But Obama's proposal would increase that threshold for guaranteed overtime would be raised to $50,440 per year.

“We’ve got to keep making sure hard work is rewarded,” Mr. Obama wrote in a column published June 29 in The Huffington Post. “Right now, too many Americans are working long days for less pay than they deserve.”

The overtime rule hasn't been updated since 2004. The President said he'll discuss the plan more when he travels to Wisconsin this week.

"That’s how America should do business. In this country, a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay,"  wrote Obama. "That’s at the heart of what it means to be middle class in America."

The National Retail Federation vehemently opposes overtime expansion, arguing that change "would drive up retailers’ payroll costs while limiting opportunities to move up into management. Most workers would be unlikely to see an increase in take-home pay, the use of part-time workers could increase, and retailers operating in rural states could see a disproportionate impact," according to a study outlined on the group's website.