Obama Goes It Alone to Expand Overtime Pay
Aims to limit exemption for 'executive or professional' workers
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Mar 12, 2014 7:37 AM CDT
President Barack Obama speaks Tuesday, March 11, 2014, during a signing ceremony in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

(Newser) – President Obama is acting to ensure overtime for millions of workers who may currently be working the hours without getting the pay. As it stands, workers ranging from fast-food managers to computer experts may be labeled "executive or professional" by their employers; that designation lets their bosses avoid paying them overtime, the New York Times explains. Obama's new rules, which will face public comment before being finalized, would change that. "Under current rules … you can spend 95% of the time sweeping floors and stocking shelves, and if you’re responsible for supervising people 5% of the time, you can then be considered executive and be exempt," says a liberal think tank rep.

Right now, some salaried workers may not be eligible for overtime if they make more than $455 per week, or some $24,000 per year, the Wall Street Journal notes. That level was set in 2004, and experts note that inflation has rendered it even less effective. Obama looks likely to raise that threshold to an amount that's not yet clear, though a recent paper suggested $984 per week, or about $50,000 yearly. Conservatives are opposed to the move, with one telling the Times it could ultimately result in job cuts: "If they push through something to make a certain class of workers more expensive, something will happen to adjust."

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NorCalHal
Mar 16, 2014 10:12 PM CDT
There are consequences and reactions to every action.. Does the company that has to pay more in overtime; A - Increase prices in a competitive environment thereby losing more business ? B - Reduce the salaries of everyone else in the company to pay the added expense?, C - Reduce overtime by hiring more employees that it can't afford or would have hired in the first place? D - Reduce expenses by cutting back on benefits or the number employees ?
Lou Bernardo
Mar 13, 2014 11:41 PM CDT
If Obama had been born in the U.S. and gone to school here he would know something about the Constitution and know that he has no authority to be raising wages and making all the unconstitutional decrees he, as a self-made Imperial Czar makes.
JERZJOE
Mar 13, 2014 9:18 PM CDT
IN A WORLD. WHERE THE CURRENT ADMINISTRATION CAN MAKE LAWS IN A WHIM TO BENEFITS THEIR OWN POWER CONTROL ON THE PRIVATE SECTOR AMERICAN BUSINESS.., THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE WAY TO CHANGE COURSE IS.. .. ,When the rep take control in Nov 2014,repeal Obamacare , give us less taxes, fix the debt, & GET BACK RESPECT & CREDIBILITY TO THE USA !.. Then in Nov 2016 Gov. Christie will be prez!!!! and everything will be AOK in the USA on Jan 20, 2017!! THERE YA GO!!