President Obama, riding on the momentum of a good week, is set to launch one of the biggest economic plans of his presidency. In a move that would affect some 5 million American workers, Obama's plan to change the overtime rules will boost the overtime threshold to more than double what it is now.
Under today's law, employers are not required to offer overtime pay to salaried workers making more than $23,660. But Obama plans to raise that threshold to $50,440 in 2016, effectively benefitting all those making less than that amount, but work more than 40 hours per week. According to an analysis released by the White House, the largest percentage of employees who stand to benefit from the new overtime rules are in Oklahoma (4.4 percent), Florida (4.2 percent) and Tennessee (4.1 percent).
In the op-ed in The Huffington Post, Obama wrote:
That's good for workers who want fair pay, and it's good for business owners who are already paying their employees what they deserve — since those who are doing right by their employees are undercut by competitors who aren't. ...
Will we accept an economy where only a few of us do exceptionally well? Or will we push for an economy where every American who works hard can contribute to and benefit from our success?
Right now, those eligible for overtime pay are mostly hourly employees. The current $23,660 overtime threshold, set up in during the Great Depression era, protects those workers. But the times have changed, and appropriate adjustments like these will provide protections for the middle class, and perhaps even up to 1.8 million Millennials, too.
Cover image via Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]