White House Aims to Give More Workers Overtime Pay

, Corporate Counsel


President Barack Obama directed the U.S. Department of Labor to require employers to pay more of their salaried employees overtime.

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What's being said

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    What happened to "freedom of contract" in which a worker and a prospective employer negotiate a deal that makes sense for, and is agreeable to, both parties?

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    The White House doesn‘t "give" workers overtime pay. The government proposes to force others (employers) to pay more.

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    On old rule of thumb has been to assume that an employee is exempt when salary is at least 7-times minimum wage paid for a 40-hour week. Applying this quick test to the current $7.25 per hour minimum wage, employees earning an annual salary of $105,560 ($2,030 per week) would be presumed exempt. Viewed in this light, "recommendations issued by economists to the White House to raise the threshold all the way to $984 [$51,186 annually]," is closer to progressive than to socialist.

    Pat Westerkamp, Esq.

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    I see that the comments ARE moderated, since my earlier one has been deleted. It is interesting to note that the "silly commies" one remains, while mine was removed.

    I think that this answers the question I posed in my comment.

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    I take it that we are all supplicants now, reduced to going hat-in-hand to the president (whomever this happens to be at one time or another) to ask that he or she "give" us overtime or whatever the goody-of-the-week happens to be.

    The truth is that quite a road must be traveled between here-and-there, and that this is not a "pen and a phone" proposition. The "White House" is not in a position to "give" any such thing, save in a fashion that will be immediately vulnerable to legal challenge. Which is of course not to say that it won‘t try.

    If I read such a headline in USA Today or some such, then I would be more inclined to dismiss it as being the product of aiming one‘s journalism at the mean of the publication‘s readership. But presumably this publication is written for lawyers by authors who, if not lawyers themselves, are at least conversant with legal principles. So is it too much to ask that the headlines be written in a fashion that at least pretends to recognize the limitations and required procedures of our federal government?

    Or should we instead infer that the writer knowingly seeks to ascribe what is to be "give[n]" by the "White House" for political purposes? If so, is this consistent with the editorial philosophy of Corporate Counsel? Because if I were interested in reading such things, I would simply subscribe to the New York Times and would dispense with paying any attention to Corporate Counsel.

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    This article contains a significant error when it states that current laws "only require that salaried employees be paid overtime if they make less than $455 per week. This so-called white-collar exemption to the FLSA applies to all workers with paychecks above this threshold...."

    That is incorrect. Current law additionally requires that the employee’s duties be of a specific nature to qualify for the exemption. There is no automatic overtime exemption for those employees making $455 / week.

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    Hypocritical. Message to the Obama administration - this violates personnel regulations throughout the Federal Gov‘t and is diametrically the opposite of practices in every Federal agency, subordinate field agency, and outpost worldwide. Is this a "do as we say, not as we do" moment for lead-from-behind crowd in the White House?

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    Can‘t wait ‘til these silly commies are out of office.

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