July 5, 2015

Who is Working on the Fourth of July?

On this Fourth of July, as we gather with friends and family around barbecues and picnic tables across the country, we celebrate the accomplishments of the American patriots who built this country. But, as many of us are enjoying a well-deserved day off, millions of low- and middle-income workers are being required to work on a federal holiday without any sort of overtime compensation.

This is the result of outdated overtime rules that cover fewer and fewer salaried workers each year.

For years, the Economic Policy Institute has been working with and urging the Obama administration and the Department of Labor to introduce overtime reforms to give millions more workers pay for the overtime they work. Specifically, we've called for raising the salary threshold below which workers are guaranteed overtime pay. And just this week we had a major breakthrough.

The Department of Labor has proposed a rule change to increase the overtime salary threshold from $23,660 to $50,440 a year, which would guarantee overtime protection for an estimated 15 million more salaried workers. Many of those workers are moms and dads.

American moms and dads who have been working long hours, away from their families, should be getting the overtime pay that they have earned. But too many now don’t qualify for guaranteed overtime pay. The current overtime salary threshold—$23,660 per year—is below the poverty line for a family of four. If it were raised to $50,440, millions of moms and dads would benefit.

The administration needs to hear from you! Say that you support the proposed rule change to guarantee overtime protection to millions more moms and dads.

The National Retail Federation (NRF) and other Big Business lobbyists are pushing to squash the DOL’s proposed rule change. But even their own data show that increasing the overtime salary threshold would be good for workers. It would mean an increased salary for workers near the salary threshold and more personal time for others. It would also result in the creation of at least 76,000 new jobs averaging 30 hours per week.

The NRF, which lobbies on behalf of department store corporations, sporting goods chains, and grocery store chains, is looking out for the interests of Big Business plain and simple. It has no regard for how these proposed overtime rules would positively impact the lives of millions of workers.

Stand with EPI in supporting the proposed rule change guaranteeing overtime rights for millions more workers and their families.

Together we are fighting the unlimited resources of Big Business and building an economy that works for all Americans, not just the wealthy few.

No comments: