Obama to announce details of new overtime rule

Barack Obama
In this June 26, 2015, photo, President Barack Obama speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. The Obama administration will propose requiring overtime pay for workers who earn nearly $1,000 per week, three individuals familiar with the plan said Monday, June 29. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — President Barack Obama will announce details of a proposal Tuesday that could allow millions of Americans to be eligible for overtime as soon at 2016.

The US Department of Labor said people making $23,660 a year or less are automatically eligible for overtime. Obama said the US Department of Labor will change that to $50,440 a year.

When this takes effect, if workers make between $23,660 and $50,440 a year, bosses will have to pay their employees time and a half if they work more than 40 hours a week.

“Right now, too many Americans are working long days for less pay than they deserve,” Obama wrote in an op-ed published Monday in the Huffington Post.

Not everyone is on board with the change. The National Retail Federation said it will cost stores and restaurants millions. They said it could result in businesses reducing employees’ hours.

“The new rules will guarantee that millions of workers will lose jobs and wages to make sure that the government can transfer a politically-motivated payoff” to a few million workers, said Doug Holtz-Eakin, economist and president of the right-leaning American Action Forum.

Obama said this proposal aims to decrease the loophole employers abuse to avoid paying overtime.

The White House’s proposed changes, which will be open for public comment and could take months to finalize, can be enacted through regulation without approval by the Republican-led Congress.

Other changes are possible.  Currently, if a company says an employee’s primary duty is, for example, supervising others, the employer can disqualify that person from overtime.

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