President Obama and his Administration have been working hard at finding a practical solution and in the coming weeks, the Department of Labor is expected to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking. This will begin a critical process to take real action that will provide a much needed boost to America’s workers and our economy as a whole.
We have no illusions that opponents of the raising wages agenda will sit this one out. We fully anticipate a barrage of misinformation throughout the public comment period and until a final rule is issued by the Administration. We will not be deterred. This is too important.
Simply put, modernizing the federal overtime regulations is the single most effective action the President can take to raise wages for working people.
Here’s some context.
After the federal overtime law was enacted in 1938, the salary threshold was routinely updated every few years. However, the last regular adjustment to the salary level was made by President Gerald R. Ford in 1975. No further adjustments have been made in the decades since, and as a result, workers’ overtime protections have been eroded by inflation.
Think about this. If you make more than $23,660 your employer is not even required to pay overtime. That’s crazy. A family of four earning that salary is living in poverty. Poverty. Over three million workers, particularly young people, women and workers of color, stand to benefit if the salary level is increased.
Every day that goes by, millions of workers miss out on wages they rightfully deserve. The Administration is doing the right thing and it’s time to finish the job. The spotlight is on raising wages and the time is now. Not just for action, but bold action.
As you cover this important issue, please don’t hesitate to use our resources. Whether it’s providing real life context of those impacted, the facts to back it up or the experts to dive deep, we’re working overtime on this one.