Obama to Expand Overtime Pay to Nearly 5 Million Workers


Overtime pay is paying a salary of 1.5 times more whenever a worker works more than 40 hours per week, this law was created to protect the American worker. Until now, the limits set by the administration under George W. Bush, were that overtime was only paid to salaried workers who were paid less than $23,660 per year. President Obama has lifted that to workers who make up to $50,440, a big jump.


The president issued this statement, “That’s how America should do business. In this country, a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay. That’s at the heart of what it means to be middle class in America.” The decision was made to improve wages for approximately 5 million people, so many people working longer hours without compensation. This change is designed to improve working conditions for the middle class, and also to help businesses who suffer from paying employees fairly while being undercut by companies who do not.

There are, of course, concerns that businesses will now cut employee hours, lower overall wages, or that they will hire additional workers to cover those hours, because the interest of business is to make money from the sweat of employees, not to protect and care for them. President Obama addressed these concerns as well, saying, “Let’s invest in America’s future. Let’s commit to an economy that rewards hard work, generates rising incomes, and allows everyone to share in the prosperity of a growing America. Let’s reverse harmful cuts to vital programs, and instead make the critical investments we need to grow our economy and strengthen the middle class.”

A sharp contrast to the endeavor of treating employees fairly and giving them adequate compensation for their hard work and loyalty, the National Retail Foundation opposes fair treatment, stating this change will, “add to employers’ costs, undermine customer service, hinder productivity, generate more litigation opportunities for trial lawyers and ultimately harm job creation.” If indeed, employers hire more workers rather than pay overtime, that is job creation and growth, they appear not to have thought out their own statement.

The changes will officially be announced in Wisconsin, a battleground of many fierce labor disputes. The changes are expected to take place in 2016, unless the lobbyists of big business succeed in having it revoked, or fool the American workers into thinking this will be a bad thing. Job creation and getting paid for the work you do is always a good thing. The more rights you give away, the less you will ever have. This should be a huge victory for the American worker, and a huge bonus for American business, no matter how you look at it.