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Millions more white-collar workers could get overtime

Nancy Marshall-Genzer May 16, 2016
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Workers currently don't get overtime if they're managers or administrative workers making at least $23,660 a year.
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The Labor Department is expected to issue a final rule soon that could make millions more white-collar workers eligible for overtime.

Right now, workers don’t get overtime if they’re managers or administrative workers making at least $23,660 a year.  So, say a convenience store manager works long hours but doesn’t get overtime. The Obama administration wants to change that.

“It’s a major attempt to reduce the wage gap,” said Gary Chaison, a professor of  labor relations at Clark University. He said the Labor Department is expected to almost double the amount of money these workers can make and still get overtime. And that would  have the biggest impact on “hotels, restaurants, service establishments,” he said.

David Barmak, a labor law attorney at Mintz Levin who represents employers, said he’s worried the Labor Department will raise the salary threshold for making overtime by too much, too fast. He thinks employers might cut workers’ hours.

“And that will mean there’s a cap, if you will, on the wage earning ability of those employees,” he said.

The Labor Department estimates that almost 5 million white-collar workers would be entitled to overtime under the new rule. 

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