I remember the excitement of my first professional job out of college. I was on a probationary period, as were all new ‘management’ hires. So for six months I would have no sick leave or other major benefits. I worked plenty of ‘overtime’ for which I wasn’t paid or even given ‘comp’ time. And I worked shoulder to shoulder with “non-salaried” union folks who had great benefits and were paid time and a half (sometimes more) for overtime.
But I had the title of “engineer”, a position that was declared by the company to be exempt from the national labor rules, and I had chosen the work culture of a ‘professional’. Eventually I was granted benefits of sick pay, 401-K and a few other goodies and after a few years my income started looking pretty good. Looking back I have no complaints.
Now, President Obama is expected to release a long-awaited rule governing overtime that could affect 5 million people. The proposed rule would more than double the salary cap under which most workers would qualify for overtime pay whenever they work more than 40 hours a week. The cap would be raised from $23,660 to $50,440, and indexed to wage growth or inflation, ensuring the cap would move with the overall economy.
Bottom line: salaried employees earning less than $50,440 a year would get overtime if they work more than 40 hours per week. That’s up from the current $23,660 a year.
Of course, there’s the expected opposition from conservative groups and business organizations. But what about you? Would you be affected? How do you think this impacts the nation’s economy?