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EPI: Trump Overtime Rule Will Exclude 8.2 Million Workers

September 26, 2019

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

WASHINGTON—The final overtime rule the U.S. Department of Labor announced Sept. 24 will exclude 8.2 million workers who would have been entitled to time-and-a-half pay under an Obama-era version of the rule, according to an analysis by the Economic Policy Institute. The rule states that salaried workers are automatically entitled to overtime pay if they make less than $35,568 a year. That’s a large increase over the previous 1970s-vintage threshold of $23,660, but almost $12,000 less than the $47,476 level the department set in 2016, which was blocked by a federal court in East Texas. Republicans on the House Education and Labor Committee said the new rule “will make over one million additional American workers eligible for overtime,” and called the Obama administration version a “radical increase” that was “completely unwarranted.” EPI senior economist Heidi Shierholz calculated that the Obama rule would have given 3.2 million workers new overtime protections and 5 million strengthened overtime protections. Under the Trump standard, she said, workers will get paid a total of $1.4 billion a year less. “The Trump administration is cheating workers out of billions,” Shierholz wrote. Read more

September 26, 2019

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