President Obama and the Labor Department announced their plan on Tuesday to propose new rules regarding overtime pay for both private and public sector employees. Currently, the U.S. Department of Labor only requires employers to pay their workers overtime if they make less than $23,661 per year, a threshold that Mr. Obama wants to raise to $50,440.
While labor organizations such as the AFL-CIO applauded the new proposal, business advocacy groups warned that the increased cost of doing business in America will end up hurting the middle-class, instead of raising wages as intended.
National Federation of Independent Business legal counsel-woman Beth Milito argued that, “Promoting someone to manager is going to be an expensive proposition for many small businesses and the result will be less mobility and fewer opportunities for workers”.
President Obama wrote an editorial in the Huffington Post today entitled “A Hard Day’s Work Deserves a Fair Day’s Pay”, which described why he was proposing the new wage standards and claimed that the new rules would cover almost 5 million people if and when the changes take affect next year.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (1938) authorizes the president to set minimum wage, overtime pay, and child-labor requirements via the Wage and Hour Division of the Labor Department. The changes are subject to a 60 day public comment period however, which could give Congress the fire-power to propose its own legislation that would repeal the new standards.
President Obama will announce the details of his plan on Thursday at a public rally in Wisconsin.
[USA Today] [Huffington Post]