June 30, 2015

Whitehouse Applauds Obama Administration’s Expansion of Overtime Pay

RI Senator Has Advocated for Change to Boost Worker Incomes

Providence, RI – Today the Obama Administration’s Department of Labor proposed a new rule to boost wages for millions of salaried workers by setting a new income limit for automatic overtime pay. U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) has been advocating for the change, signing onto a letter to the President in January urging him to raise the protection threshold.

“Too many workers in Rhode Island and across the country are working long hours without guaranteed overtime pay,” Whitehouse said. “This change will ensure that more workers are fully paid for the hours they put in, boosting paychecks and strengthening our economy. I thank President Obama and Secretary Perez for implementing this change.”

The proposal announced today will boost overtime protections for salaried workers making up to $50,400 per year, compared to the current threshold of just $23,660. The rule is expected to cover an additional 5 million Americans, including 10,000 Rhode Islanders, who would be guaranteed time-and-a-half pay if they work more than 40 hours in a week.

In 1975, 65 percent of salaried workers in America were protected by the overtime threshold, but that number has fallen over time to just 11 percent. In Rhode Island only about 7 percent of workers are currently covered. The expansion will increase that percentage.


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