Who Is Really Covered Under New Overtime Rules?

Today’s post was shared by US Labor Department and comes from knpr.org

Luciano Lozano/Ikon Images/Corbis

The Obama administration has proposed new rules that will allow more salaried workers to be eligible for overtime.

Wait. Salaried workers? Overtime?

“I’m very glad that you asked that question and I think the way you asked it underscores what I think is a lot of misinformation about who’s exempt from overtime protections,” Heidi Shierholz, chief economist at the U.S. Department of Labor, told KNPR’s State of Nevada. “We have this core value in the United States of a 40 hour work week. If you work more than 40 hours, you should get time and a half for those additional hours. But we have this intended to be relatively small set of workers who are exempt from those protections.”

In the mid-20th Century, when these rules were written, those exempt workers were mostly executives, people who took home salaries in the $20,000 or $30,000 a year. The country believed they got paid enough, and could work as long as they wanted.

But just to make sure, the government devised a three-pronged test in order to be exempt from having to be paid overtime, workers had to be paid a salary, that salary had to be above a certain threshold, and you had to actually have the duties of an executive

This is where things became muddy over the years.

In the 1930s, when the Fair Labor Standards Act was written, most people were physical laborers, and the difference between support workers and executives was pretty stark.

Now, there are…

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