AAUW Statement on Setback to Obama Overtime Rule

November 30, 2016

 

Employees working at a McDonald's restaurant

McDonald’s, Employees. Photo Credit: The Consumerist, Flickr. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic.

The recent injunction issued by a federal judge against President Barack Obama’s new overtime rule is a major setback to commonsense reform that would affect millions around the country. The final rule, issued in May, was heralded by AAUW as a much-needed update to overtime rights for an estimated 4 million salaried workers, more than half of whom are women. Now those 4 million workers, who thought they would become eligible for overtime pay starting December 1, are in limbo. The blow to this significant reform delays long-awaited protections that would have been a critical part not only in bolstering the economic security of millions but also in addressing the gender pay gap.

Under the law, hourly workers were automatically entitled to time-and-a-half pay when they worked more than 40 hours per week. The rule issued by the White House would have derailed an all-too-common practice: Research shows that employers routinely “promote” previously nonexempt workers (those eligible to earn overtime pay) to salaried, low-level managerial positions without overtime pay.

With the rule in jeopardy, millions of workers will be denied overtime pay. At the end of the day the U.S. Department of Labor took a commonsense step toward achieving pay equity and economic security for millions of working families. With a possible legal appeal by the Labor Department as a next step, AAUW hopes judges will take into account the seven-decade history of this regulation and the urgent need to update its application. Basic fairness for all American workers hangs in the balance.

 


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