White House announces plan to guarantee overtime pay for millions

August 30, 2023

The Biden Administration on Wednesday unveiled a plan to guarantee overtime pay for some 3.6 million salaried American workers. 

In a news release from the Department of Labor, the Administration’s proposed rule would guarantee overtime pay for most salaried workers earning less than $1,059 per week, or about $55,000 per year.

“For over 80 years, a cornerstone of workers’ rights in this country is the right to a 40-hour workweek, the promise that you get to go home after 40 hours or you get higher pay for each extra hour that you spend laboring away from your loved ones,” said Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su. “I’ve heard from workers again and again about working long hours, for no extra pay, all while earning low salaries that don’t come anywhere close to compensating them for their sacrifices.”

The White House’s proposal would go beyond an Obama-era rule that was struck down in court. In 2016, the Labor Department had doubled the salary threshold for determining overtime eligibility to roughly $47,000, but a federal judge in Texas thought that amount was too high to be covered by protections. 

Thus, the current guaranteed overtime threshold is an annual salary of $35,500, though several states including California and New York have salary thresholds that are higher than that standard. 

The Administration’s notice of proposed rulemaking will be open for public comment for 60 days. The Labor Department says it will consider all comments received before publishing a final rule.

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