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Redefining American Overtime47:17Download

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With guest host Jane Clayson.

Five million workers may qualify for overtime pay. We’ll look at the plan and the pushback.

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)
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)

There are a heck of a lot of middle class Americans across this country who make between $23,000 and $50,000 dollars a year.  Right now, labor laws say that exempt workers in that range cannot earn overtime if they work long hours. Well, the White House yesterday announced it’s going to change that. Overtime pay –time and a half—for at least five million wage earners. And more. And it’s going to affect a lot of bottom lines --for families and companies. This hour, On Point:  Overtime pay and the American work force.
-- Jane Clayson

Guests

Marianne Levine, labor and employment reporter for POLITICO. (@marianne_levine)

Ross Eisenbrey Vice President of the Economic Policy Institute. Former policy director of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.(@rosseisenbrey)

Michael Strain, deputy director of economic policy studies and resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. (@MichaelRStrain)

Katie Tyler, founder, owner and CEO of Tyler 2 Construction in Charlotte, NC. (@Tyler2Builds)

From The Reading List

Huffington Post: A Hard Day's Work Deserves a Fair Day's Pay -- "This week, I'll head to Wisconsin to discuss my plan to extend overtime protections to nearly 5 million workers in 2016, covering all salaried workers making up to about $50,400 next year. That's good for workers who want fair pay, and it's good for business owners who are already paying their employees what they deserve — since those who are doing right by their employees are undercut by competitors who aren't. That's how America should do business. In this country, a hard day's work deserves a fair day's pay. That's at the heart of what it means to be middle class in America."

POLITICO: Barack Obama poised to hike wages for millions — "The Obama administration is on the verge of possibly doubling the salary levels that would require employers to pay overtime in the most ambitious government intervention on wages in a decade. And it doesn’t need Congress’s permission. As early as this week, the Labor Department could propose a rule that would raise the current overtime threshold — $23,660 – to as much as $52,000, extending time and a half overtime pay to millions of American workers. The rule has already come under fire from business and Republican opponents who say it will kill jobs and force employers to cut hours for salaried employees."

The Wall Street Journal: Labor Department Expected to Make Millions More Eligible for Overtime -- "Millions more Americans who work in excess of 40 hours a week will qualify for overtime pay under a proposed rule the Labor Department is expected to unveil this week—a signature White House initiative aimed at strengthening the middle class and tackling income inequality. The agency is proposing to raise to $970 a week the salary threshold that generally determines who is eligible for overtime pay, according to sources familiar with the administration’s plans."

This program aired on July 1, 2015.

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