Trump Sides with Employers on Overtime Pay Protections
makes it easier to deny overtime for millions
EPI Economic Policy Institute
Last year, the Department of Labor updated the overtime pay rule, raising the threshold under which all salaried workers are guaranteed time-and-a-half for working overtime from $23,660 to $47,476―giving 12.5 million workers new or strengthened rights to the overtime pay they deserve. The updated rule extends overtime eligibility to 4.9 million more working people and would make it harder for employers to deny overtime to another 7.6 million working people who were already eligible.
In August, a Texas district court ruled in favor of business interests and ordered that the government could not enforce the updated rule. The Trump administration has 60 days from the ruling to decide whether or not to appeal. We think they are highly unlikely to appeal the court’s decision. If they do not appeal by October 30 at midnight, they will be once again siding with employers over working people.
President Trump likes to put workers in photo ops. But when it comes to actual policies that support working people, he sides with Wall Street, the Chamber of Commerce, and corporate CEOs time and again. EPI is asking progressive groups to highlight the Trump administration’s hypocrisy speak out beginning on October 31st, when it is clear that the administration is not appealing the District Court ruling striking down the rule.
At the same time, DOL published a Request for Information on the rule—the first step towards releasing a weaker version of the rule. Given the recent District Court ruling, it is unclear if or when DOL will continue this process with a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. The 2016 rule was the result of an exhaustive, more than two-year rulemaking process which included hundreds of meetings and reviewing more than 250,000 public comments. Any additional rulemaking is simply a wasteful exercise. DOL should simply appeal the District Court ruling, and defend and implement the 2016 rule.
Writing in the Washington Post, Ron Klain sums up the opportunity this is for policymakers and activists who want to help middle class workers get the higher wages that they deserve, calling supporting overtime protections “the most significant thing Democrats could do to help working families now."