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  • Law steals overtime pay from Americans

    COMMENT: Law steals overtime pay from Americans

    August 19, 2004

    BY ROSS EISENBREY

    On Monday, the Bush administration will take away the right to receive overtime pay from millions of employees in a broad range of occupations, from office workers in financial services to embalmers, nursery school teachers and restaurant chefs and assistant managers. Despite four disapproving votes in Congress, the Bush administration is using its power and authority to accomplish the biggest rollback in employee rights in more than half a century.

    The administration denies it is weakening overtime rights and claims to be taking overtime pay from workers earning $100,000 a year or more. But the new regulations have their biggest impact on employees earning far less. Salaried employees earning as little as $24,000 a year are subject to the new rules, which make it far easier for employers to deny overtime pay.

    It might shock people to think the government would lie to them, but there is no nice way to describe the administration's campaign of disinformation around the new overtime regulations.

    Secretary Elaine Chao's spin -- that she is only interested in clarity and helping low-wage workers -- is belied by the regulations themselves. According to three top experts on the Fair Labor Standards, virtually every change in the new regulations will weaken or eliminate the right to overtime pay. These nonpartisan experts, first appointed in the Reagan administration, include the Department's top two Fair Labor Standards lawyers for most of the last 20 years and the top career official responsible for enforcing the law during that same period. They also conclude the new regulations are so confusing and self-contradictory that they will provoke additional court litigation.

    Looking only at 10 of the dozens of changes in the law, six million employees will lose the right to overtime pay. Those hit hardest will be low-level supervisors, who will be classified as executives by the new rules, even if they spend 90 percent of their time doing the same kind of labor as the two employees they supervise. Team leaders in factories, construction and office settings will lose overtime rights, and hundreds of thousands of employees without a college education will be called professionals and denied overtime pay.

    This is a corruption of the Fair Labor Standards Act and its exemptions, by which Congress intended to ensure that all but a narrow class of well-paid top officials and professional employees would get time-and-a-half pay when they work long hours.

    The Bush administration has sided with employer groups, who oppose regulation and resent having to pay extra for overtime work. They want the flexibility to work employees 50 or 60 hours a week without paying any more than they would for 40. One restaurant chain worked low-paid assistant managers 85 or 90 hours a week without any additional pay. The new rules will make that kind of abuse legal.

    As we approach Labor Day, founded as part of the original campaign for an 8-hour workday and a 40-hour work week, it is critical to speak out against these new regulations. Unless Congress can block these regulations this fall, millions will lose overtime pay and find themselves working longer hours. It took 100 years of struggle to pass the Fair Labor Standards Act and create a 40-hour work week. It has taken the Bush administration less than four years to turn back the clock.

    ROSS EISENBREY is vice president and policy director of the Economic Policy Institute, a nonprofit and nonpartisan think tank in Washington, D.C. Write to him at Economic Policy Institute, 1660 L Street NW, Suite 1200, Washington, D.C. 20036.
    http://www.freep.com/voices/columnis...9_20040819.htm

    Well it's only 6 million people it's going to affect. Don't see what all the fuss is myself. and anyway, the courts could do with making more cases to waste tax-payers money.
    Jex.


  • #2
    Re: Law steals overtime pay from Americans

    The Bush administration has sided with employer groups, who oppose regulation and resent having to pay extra for overtime work. They want the flexibility to work employees 50 or 60 hours a week without paying any more than they would for 40. One restaurant chain worked low-paid assistant managers 85 or 90 hours a week without any additional pay. The new rules will make that kind of abuse legal.
    THAT is what the fuss is all about. It's one thing to work 85 hours a week and get $100,000 for it. If you're working 90 hours and making $25,000, something's fishy.
    [volun2]
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    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Law steals overtime pay from Americans

      This article is horrendously biased! I can't believe it doesn't say VOTE KERRY at the end of the article. This non-partisan group is hardly that, and it's obvious just from a cursory glance at their website. Don't forget this is an opinion piece in a left-leaning newspaper. This was NOT a news article.

      Quote:
      Despite four disapproving votes in Congress, the Bush administration is using its power and authority to accomplish the biggest rollback in employee rights in more than half a century.

      Despite four disapproving votes.....What!? That means it passed with near unanimity! Remember, Bush is not King. Anything his administration proposes has to be voted on.

      Here is the actual proposal: link

      From what I can tell the income limits for which you would be subject to "stripping" away overtime pay were actually RAISED by this bill.

      I'd like to see a more objective analysis of these rule changes.
      New to TG?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Law steals overtime pay from Americans

        http://www.factcheck.org/article.aspx?docID=151

        BUSH IS OUT TO GET US ALL! HE HATES THE LITTLE PEOPLE AND WANTS US TO SUFFER!

        Geeze, guys. Check your facts first.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Law steals overtime pay from Americans

          Didn't this bogus article surface over a year ago. Plus, the writer is a grade A retard.

          It might shock people to think the government would lie to them
          That's just classic.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Law steals overtime pay from Americans

            Originally posted by USN_Squid
            Quote:
            Despite four disapproving votes in Congress, the Bush administration is using its power and authority to accomplish the biggest rollback in employee rights in more than half a century.

            Despite four disapproving votes.....What!? That means it passed with near unanimity!
            No, that means a majority of the House and/or the Senate voted four separate times to block this.

            Remember, Bush is not King. Anything his administration proposes has to be voted on.
            No, the individual bureaucracies set their own administrative rules in many areas, and this is one of them.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Law steals overtime pay from Americans

              Originally posted by =luna=
              http://www.factcheck.org/article.aspx?docID=151

              BUSH IS OUT TO GET US ALL! HE HATES THE LITTLE PEOPLE AND WANTS US TO SUFFER!

              Geeze, guys. Check your facts first.
              Since when do facts matter?

              http://www.factcheck.org/article.aspx?docID=231

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Law steals overtime pay from Americans

                Originally posted by Zebra
                No, that means a majority of the House and/or the Senate voted four separate times to block this.



                No, the individual bureaucracies set their own administrative rules in many areas, and this is one of them.
                Okay, obviously I am confused, and now more so because of your post. Was it voted on or is it a bureaucratic rule?
                New to TG?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Law steals overtime pay from Americans

                  Here are the 3 tests to determine who is exempt and who isn't.

                  1) Salary employees are exempt from overtime (didn't change)

                  2) Employees that earn a minimum of $455/week or $23,660/year are exempt (before Bush changed this it was $155/week)

                  3) Under the new law, any employee's job duty is considered "administrative, professional, or executive" in nature are exempt from overtime pay. So managers would be considered exempt from overtime pay.

                  http://money.cnn.com/2004/08/23/news...ex.htm?cnn=yes

                  Nobody can predict how the new laws will affect overtime. For one thing, State Laws trump Federal laws in determining overtime exemption status and 18 states to date have laws in place that will override the new Federal law.

                  The unions are upset because they are saying team leaders will lose overtime pay but I don't believe they will fall under any of the 3 categories unless they are salary or earn more than $455 per week. Blue collar workers don't fall under this classification.

                  I think there are alot of misinformed people out there complaining about something that didn't change in the worst way, but actually was an improvement over the old laws (case in point the second criteria being raised and better clarification on point 3).

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Law steals overtime pay from Americans

                    Originally posted by USN_Squid
                    Okay, obviously I am confused, and now more so because of your post. Was it voted on or is it a bureaucratic rule?
                    It's an administrative rule set by the agency itself, based on a law that was passed in the 1930s. The votes this year were to do something like cut off or limit the Labor Department's funding if the rule was implemented, but it's very easy to finagle things in and out of the final version of the budget bill that goes to both houses.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Law steals overtime pay from Americans

                      http://www.timesunion.com/AspStories...sdate=9/9/2004

                      WASHINGTON -- In a sharp rebuke of a new administration policy, the House moved Thursday to block the Labor Department from carrying out overtime rules that critics argued could deprive millions of workers of their overtime pay.

                      The 223-193 vote in favor of blocking the rules defied the White House. A threatened veto applied to a massive spending bill, now on the House floor, if it contains any language tampering with the rules that took effect Aug. 23.

                      "This is one step in the legislative process. We are continuing to work with the Congress," said Trent Duffy, a spokesman for President Bush.

                      Democrats, united against the rules, were joined by 22 Republicans in voting for the amendment to a $142.5 billion health and education spending bill.

                      The vote was Bush's second election-season defeat in Congress in two days. On Wednesday the Senate disregarded a White House veto threat and voted to prohibit Bush from giving federal immigration jobs to private workers.
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