New Federal Ruling Expands Overtime Pay to 4 Million More Americans

By: Daniel Steingold | May 18, 2016

A new law from the Obama administration will expand the receipt of overtime pay to over 4 million American full-time salaried workers.

The ruling, officially coming from the Labor Department, will essentially guarantee overtime pay to any worker making a salary less than $47,500— the previous threshold was $23,660. Overtime pay is federally defined to be one-and-a-half times regular pay.

The retail and fast food industries are expected to be especially affected by this ruling, with a majority of the benefit going to those in a managerial capacity. Lawsuits filed by such groups have been abundant in the past few years, with managers claiming that they often work over 50 or 60 hours a week, just to receive standard pay.

Some claim that this is a “minimum wage increase” for the middle class, and that it will revert pay back to workers. The U.S. government projects that this ruling will raise pay by $1.2 billion a year over the next decade.

However, the new regulation has not been met with praise from all. Many Republicans and those in the business community have been outspoken in their opposition, calling it a “career killer” and “full of false promises.”

Opposing groups believe that many businesses will be simply be straddled with more red tape, and be forced to cut hours for the workers who would theoretically benefit from this change in policy.

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