Center for Community Change Applauds Labor Department’s Proposal to Raise Salary Threshold to Determine Who Gets Overtime Pay
The Center for Community Change applauds the Labor Department’s proposal to increase the salary threshold used to determine overtime pay qualification. Increasing the salary threshold to $50,440 will impact more than 5 million workers and families.
“Many working families are putting in longer hours, but are not seeing their extra work reflected in their wages because they are currently not eligible to receive overtime. Being able to receive overtime will greatly level the wage playing field that is greatly tipped in favor of the wealthy in our country,” said Deepak Bhargava, Executive Director of the Center for Community Change.
Last year, President Obama instructed the Labor Department to update the regulations that govern overtime in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and specifically increase the overtime salary threshold. Currently, any salaried worker that satisfies a duties test – performing managerial, administrative, or professional tasks, such as supervising other employees or exercising independent judgement– and earns more than $455 per week, or $23,660 per year, is exempt from overtime pay.
This threshold is below the poverty line for a family of four. In 1975, the last time this overtime regulation threshold was updated, more than 60% of salaried workers qualified for overtime pay, but today only 8% qualify. Raising the threshold to $50,440, an increase that is long overdue, will cover many more workers and put the salary threshold close to the U.S. median household income level. It also has the potential to create thousands of new jobs. Raising the overtime threshold is particularly important to help lower wage workers who are disproportionately women, Black, and Latino.
The Center for Community Change builds the power and capacity of low-income people, especially low-income people of color, to change their communities and public policies for the better. CCC empowers the people most affected by injustice to lead movements to improve the policies that affect their lives. For more information go to www.communitychange.org and follow us on Twitter @communitychange