Overtime Pay Under AttackSources: Ruters, CNN, AFL
As early as March 2004, President George W. Bush could take away working people's hard-fought 40-hour workweek and overtime pay—with no meaningful increased flexibility to help workers balance demands of jobs and family.
Under the Bush proposal to change the Fair Labor Standards Act, some 8 million workers, including police officers, nurses, store supervisors and many other workers, would face unpredictable work schedules and reduced pay because of an increased demand for extra hours for which employers would not have to compensate workers, according to an Economic Policy Institute report.
The Bush proposal also could take away overtime pay protections for America's military veterans.
Since the U.S. Department of Labor announced the proposed rule changes in March 2003, the Labor Department already has been advising employers how to avoid paying overtime to low-income workers who may gain eligibility under the rule, according to an Associated Press report.
In January 2004, Bush and Senate Republican leaders killed a filibuster against a massive spending bill that included an amendment to block the overtime pay protection attack. The amendment protecting workers’ overtime previously had been approved by the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives.
Tell Bush that working families count on overtime pay and oppose changes to overtime that would mean more work and less pay for working families.
Under the Bush overtime scheme:
- Millions of salaried workers making between $22,101 and $65,000 who now are eligible to receive overtime pay could be reclassified as executives or administrative or professional employees—and would no longer qualify for overtime pay.
- Relatively low-salary earners who have supervisory responsibilities or management-related responsibilities would be penalized, as would workers with advanced education or specialized training. Some of the jobs affected are police, firefighters, nurses, retail managers, insurance claims adjusters and medical therapists.
- ployees not covered by the new rules also could be hurt: By reclassifying many of their workers as exempt from overtime pay, employers most likely would assign overtime only to them and eliminate overtime for other workers.
- Police and firefighters are among those potentially affected.
Anyone making $65,000 or more a year likely would lose overtime pay, effectively eliminating many middle-income wage earners’ much-needed extra pay.
This is yet another one of Bush's ways to spit in the face of those who work for a living. If you value your overtime, or worse; if your family's livelihood depends on the extra income you get from overtime to make ends meet. I urge you to be active in your government and let Bush, your local and state legislators, and the labor department, know how you feel.
If you belong to a Union, get in touch with your shop stewart or union rep, and find out how this may effect you.
Tell bush What you think of this proposal
Sign the petition to save your right to overtime pay