The Electrical Worker online
August 2015

Proposed Overtime Rule
Could Grant Raise for Millions
index.html Home    print Print    email Email

Go to

On June 29, President Obama and the U.S. Department of Labor announced a plan to raise the threshold of overtime pay from $23,660 a year to $50,400 a year. This move would extend overtime pay to an additional 5 million American workers.

"That's how America should do business," the president wrote in an article for The Huffington Post. "In this country, a hard day's work deserves a fair day's pay. That's at the heart of what it means to be middle class in America."

Under current laws, any salaried worker earning less than $455 a week is guaranteed time-and-a-half pay whenever they work over 40 hours a week — unless they are in a managerial or executive position. However, these positions are ill-defined and many employers award these titles without changing the duties of the employees.

Under the new rules, workers will qualify for overtime pay regardless of their titles. Employers will either have to pay the premium for extra hours worked, or redistribute tasks until each employee is down to 40 hours a week.

Working family advocates are hailing this proposed rule as a victory. AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka said, "Working people called on Obama to go bold, and his response will provide a much needed boost to our entire economy."

"Working families across the U.S. should be celebrating this proposed rule," said IBEW International President Lonnie R. Stephenson. "Whether you already earn enough to support a middle-class family, or you're pulling extra hours just trying to make ends meet, this benefits us all. Updating overtime protections means better wages for people in our communities, which means more money in local economies and stronger families. I applaud President Obama."

The proposal is now subject to a mandatory 60-day comment period. Once approved, the new rule will go into effect in 2016.


Five million more American workers could earn overtime pay under an executive order signed in June by President Obama.