President To Issue Order Expanding Number Of Workers Eligible For Overtime

Under current guidelines, most people earning more than $455/week (about $24K/year) are ineligible for overtime pay, but multiple news reports claim that President Obama is set to issue an executive order that would increase the number of people able to collect those extra wages.

Bloomberg says it has confirmed with a White House official that the President’s order, expected to come today, will direct the Labor Department to tweak its rules regarding the so-called “white-collar exemption” so that millions of additional working Americans are eligible to be paid for working more than 40 hours in a week.

There are numerous salaried employees who work beyond that standard number of hours but receive no additional compensation. For example, a retail store manager making $28,000 a year who is exempt from overtime might easily work more than 50 hours in a week. But since she is not paid for those additional hours, she is actually earning about the same per hour as an overtime-eligible worker making $23,000 a year.

While no stories have specifics on exactly what the new exemption level would be, or how many people will be affected, the NY Times — the first to report the news — says the greatest impact will be felt in occupations like fast-food managers, loan officers, and computer technicians, who often work long hours but who are currently classified as “executive or professional” under the current overtime standards.