Bush overtime rules in effect
The Bush administration's new overtime rules went into effect today, and it's bad news for America's workers. While those making up to $455 per week are now eligible for overtime, that amount still falls far short the eligibility standard in 1975, adjusted for inflation.
And there's more:
- The number and types of positions that now qualify as overtime-exempt have been drastically expanded. Under the new rules, employees that are now exempt from receiving overtime include: workers who supervise as few as two employees, but have no hiring or firing authority over them; workers such as working foremen, whose "primary duty" is deemed to be administrative or managerial, even if the bulk of their time is spent on other duties; and those who can fall into the category of "Creative Professional" or "Learned Professional," such as restaurant sous chefs with experience but no professional degree.
- Workers on a salary rather than hourly-wage basis are now exempt. Don't think employers won't think to change workers' status in order to avoid paying overtime; the Department of Labor has already listed this as one of the possible ways for employers to save on overtime pay — a helpful tip from the Bush administration to its special-interest friends.
- An estimated 6 million workers will lose overtime pay as the result of the new rules, according to the Economic Policy Institute.