Working people need a raise. Families are struggling to pay the bills. Middle class people have helped corporations rack up record profits, but we are not sharing in the benefits.
New overtime eligibility rules proposed by the Obama administration in May 2016 would give millions of working people either a pay raise or more time to spend with their families (without a cut in pay). According to the Labor Department, the rule would extend overtime eligibility to 4.2 million working people and make it harder for employers to misclassify another 8.9 million people who are already eligible for overtime.
Restoring overtime is necessary to ensure that working people get paid for all the hours we work. One of the reasons why paychecks keep falling behind is because too many people can be forced to work overtime at no extra pay. Under the rules proposed by the Obama administration, more people would get paid time-and-a-half whenever they work more than 40 hours in a week.
The new eligibility rules would restore overtime protections that have been eroded since 1975. The whittling away of overtime protections is one of the ways the rules of our economy have been rewritten to favor corporations over middle class families. Even with these new rules, the share of salaried working people who are automatically eligible for overtime pay (regardless of their job duties) would be lower than it was in 1975.
The erosion of overtime protections has denied millions of people overtime pay and time away from work to spend with their families, and has weakened the incentive for employers to hire more people to spread the work.
What’s Happening with Overtime in 2017 under a Donald Trump Presidency?
In a shocking decision, a U.S. district court judge in the Eastern District of Texas ruled in November 2016 to deny overtime protection for millions of America’s working people by blocking the new federal overtime eligibility rules, which were scheduled to take effect on December 1, 2016. The Texas AFL-CIO has asked to join this litigation to defend the new overtime regulation.
It is unclear if President Donald Trump and his labor secretary nominee Alexander Acosta will defend the new overtime eligibility rules, but early signals from the administration are not encouraging.
The AFL-CIO and working people in unions remain committed to restoring overtime protections for working people and will fight any attempt to take away overtime protection or make it harder for working people to earn fair wages.
The AFL-CIO also calls upon our elected officials in the U.S. Congress to oppose any bill that would weaken or delay overtime protection.