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Getting An Education On Overtime

Posted by Steve Schram on June 02, 2016 at 11:58 AM

Originally published on June 1, 2016 on Think Progress by Cap Action War Room.

Two weeks ago, the Obama Administration gave a big boost to working families by restoring a key wage safeguard for middle-class workers: the overtime salary threshold. And while most workers are celebrating the rule—polling shows that the Obama Administration’s move is a big hit with voters—the rule is receiving some resistance from some unexpected sources: higher education institutions and nonprofits.

First, a quick explainer on the overtime and why it’s so important. Salaried workers have a right to overtime pay, or time-and-a-half for every hour worked over 40 in a week, just like hourly workers do, but if these salaried workers earn more than the current overtime threshold of $23,660 every year they aren’t guaranteed to get overtime. The percentage of salaried workers earning under the threshold used to be much higher—in 1975, 62 percent of salaried workers were covered. But inflation has steadily eroded the threshold, and only 8 percent of salaried workers fall under the threshold today.

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