The U.S. Labor Department has proposed to increase overtime eligibility to 1.1 million more workers. However, under the tenure of President Barack Obama, a rule that was issued by the department was blocked by a federal judge, due to which this number is significantly less in comparison to the 4.2 million that would have become eligible employees.
The rule that has been proposed by the department demands that the salary threshold under which nearly all workers must be paid time-and-a-half would increase to $35,308 if the workweek surpasses 40 hours.
Even though the salary threshold proposed by the labor department is higher in comparison to the current threshold of $23,660, it is still considerably lesser than the threshold of $47,476 that the department passed back in 2016. That law was banned by a federal court in Texas, just before it was about to become effective in December 2016.
This rule doesn’t follow the same method as that of the 2016 rule, which had a set formula for the threshold to increase automatically overtime withchanges in inflation. Instead it allows the department of labor to upgrade the threshold at their will after every four year.
– WAGE AND HOUR LAWYER IN ANAHEIM, ORANGE COUNTY
The rule states that this method wouldensure transparency and be beneficial for both employers and employees, by having a systematic and timely process for future changes.
This threshold of $35,308 is extremely close to that proposed by Alexander Acosta, the U.S. Labor Secretary two years earlier on his confirmation hearing. He stated that if a straight inflation adjustmentwas applied to the threshold, the figure would be updated to approximately $33,000.
When the proposal was presented, Acosta stated in a written statement that at the time of his confirmation hearings, he had promised to update the 2004 overtime threshold.He added that this proposal would ensure consistency and higher wages to the working class.
On the contrary, Heidi Shierholz, who used to be thechief economist of the department of labor, during the tenure of former President Barack Obama, and is now the director of policy at the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute, pointed out the fact that this government is actually showing its back to millions of employees.
He also alleged that Trump and his cabinet are more in favor of corporate interests over that of the working class.