In June, President Obama signed an executive order that directed the Labor Department to chance the rules for overtime pay. In 2016, 5 million US workers are going to get the overtime pay that they deserve thanks to the President’s action.
According to the White House, the Labor Department’s proposal will:
– Raise the threshold under which most salaried workers are guaranteed overtime to equal the 40th percentile of weekly earnings for full-time salaried workers. As proposed, this would raise the salary threshold from $455 a week ($23,660 a year) – below the poverty threshold for a family of four – to a projected level of $970 a week ($50,440 a year) in 2016.
– Extend overtime pay and the minimum wage to nearly 5 million workers within the first year of its implementation, of which 56 percent are women and 53 percent have at least a college degree.
– Provide greater clarity for millions more workers so they – and their employers – can determine more easily if they should be receiving overtime pay.
– Prevent a future erosion of overtime and ensure greater predictability by automatically updating the salary threshold based on inflation or wage growth over time.
In common sense English, what President Obama did was update a rule that had only been changed once since the 1970s to combat the practice of denying workers overtime pay by slapping a managerial title on their position.
The practice of making employees “managers” to get around overtime pay rules is common in service industries.
The process for the new Labor Department rule should be done by June 2016, which means that millions of workers will get paid for all of the hours that work thanks to one action taken by the Obama administration.
The fact that President Obama was able to help millions of Americans get paid what they deserve is a reminder that elections have real life consequences. Without President Obama tens of millions of Americans would not have healthcare. Obama has helped millions of workers and hundreds of millions of Americans during his time in office.
No president is perfect, but Obama has had a net positive impact, and that is really all that the American people can ask from any president.
Barack Obama has had successes big and small, but one of his most overlooked achievements was making sure that 5 million workers get paid what they have earned.