Trump's New Overtime Proposal Would Deny Overtime To 8.2M Americans

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Only 15% of workers would be protected from working 60 hours a week without additional pay.

The Department of Labor recently released a "proposal to set the salary threshold under which almost all workers are entitled to overtime pay to $679 per week, or $35,308 for a full-year worker, in 2020," according to the Economic Policy Institute.

But if the proposal is implemented, it would deny approximately 8.2 million additional workers, who would have received overtime protection and benefits under Obama's 2016 Labor Department proposal, overtime.

The Obama administration Labor Department raised the salary threshold to $47,476 in 2016, but months later, in November 2016, a Texas district court judge blocked the implementation of the rule nationwide.

Since the Obama administration's proposal was struck down in 2016, employers can force people earning as little as $455 per week or $23,660 annually to work over 60 hours a week with no additional pay than if they worked for 40 hours.

In the 8.2 million left behind, 4,2 million are women, 3.0 million are people of color, 2.7 million are parents of young children, and 4.7 million do not have a college degree.

Trump's Labor Department new, lower threshold implies that the one set in 2016 was too high, but, the EPI reports, data does not support this argument.

"The 2016 rule was well within historical norms; in fact, it would have covered far fewer workers than the threshold had covered in the past,” the EPI found. “In 1975, more than 60 percent of full-time salaried workers earned below the threshold.4 By 2016, the share of full-time salaried workers covered by the threshold had dropped to less than 7 percent.”

The EPI continued,“The 2016 rule would have just partially restored this coverage, to roughly 33 percent. The Trump proposal would cover less than half of the workers covered by the 2016 rule, just 15 percent.”

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