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New Overtime Rule Could Raise Wages For Millions Of People

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A new rule that governs overtime pay could mean higher wages for up to five million workers, according to Obama administration officials.

The White House is slated on Tuesday to begin releasing details of the overtime rule — which would, according to Politico, “more than double the salary level under which virtually all workers qualify for overtime pay whenever they work more than 40 hours in any given week.” The threshold, under the rule, would raise from $23,660 to $50,440.

“In this country, a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay,” President Obama wrote in an op-ed published Monday by the Huffington Post. “That’s at the heart of what it means to be middle class in America.”

Obama addressed the need for overtime regulation reform in his op-ed while detailing the new rule.

“Right now, too many Americans are working long days for less pay than they deserve,” he wrote. “That's partly because we've failed to update overtime regulations for years."

Business groups and Republicans in Congress spoke out against the proposal, saying that it would force employers to reduce overtime hours and cut down on employees.

“Overtime expansion would drive up retailers' payroll costs while limiting opportunities to move up into management,” the National Retail Federation said in a statement.

Beth Milito, National Federation of Independent Business senior legal counsel, said that the rule could prove difficult for small businesses in particular.

“Promoting someone to manager is going to be an expensive proposition for many small businesses and the result will be less mobility and fewer opportunities for workers at the bottom,” Milito said. 

Sources: Politico, USA Today, Huffington Post

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