Obama’s Overtime Law Is the Administration’s Boldest Move to Affect Stagnant Wages
Earlier this month, you may have heard something that sounded a lot like the collective sigh of satisfaction of 4.2 million salaried employees when the Obama administration finally released the final version of a controversial overtime law. The rule stands out as one of the most important moves that the Obama administration has made to push stagnant wages forward again.
What Does the Overtime Law Say?The rule essentially doubles the max annual earnings that a salaried employee can earn while still qualifying for overtime. Right now, employees with a salary of $23,660 or less are able to qualify for overtime pay, but anything higher and you’d be working late for no extra pay. Starting December 1st, that max annual income amount will be $47,476.
Additionally, the rule requires that the max annual income amount be revised every three years to keep up with the market. Over the next 10 years, experts estimate that salaried workers may earn as much as $12 billion more, or be paid the same but work fewer hours.
The rule will likely have the biggest effect in the hotel and restaurant industry, along with retail and nonprofit organizations.
Response to the Overtime RuleThe new overtime rule has been opposed by most corporations and big businesses, as well as many Republicans. They argued strongly that the rule will force them to cut wage and hours, and may reduce hiring.
The Obama administration was unmoved by big business and Republican arguments however, knowing that many larger companies have taken advantage of salaried employees for too long. Many salaried employees were required to work well over 40 hours despite low income and the inability to accrue overtime pay.
Wage and Hour ViolationsWage and hour violations occur every day. Employers and management regularly try to take advantage of their employees by lying about overtime laws or denying overtime pay to employees who should be qualified by worker misclassification.
It’s important to understand your rights as an employee, and whether or not you are eligible for overtime pay. Don’t let an employer take advantage of you; ask an employment lawyer if you are covered by overtime law.
Dallas employment attorney Dan A. Atkerson has years of experience helping employees who are being taken advantage of get what they are owed, including unpaid overtime, and back pay.