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August 31, 2004

There was a bit of a media frenzy last Monday (the 23rd) when the Bush administration's new overtime rules went into effect. The problem is, it was a frenzy. No one knew what would happen with the new rules, and it quickly became a partisan issue, with Kerry saying it would cause 6 million workers to lose overtime benefits. I find that rediculous. On the other side, the current administration claims it will open up overtime for some 1.3 million workers. That number is more reserved, but I find it still a bit suspicious. To be honest, I don't know what to think yet. From articles I've read, it seems many periodicals are likewise uncertain of the effects. For instance, here's an article from the NY Times that talks a little bit about it, and I gather that they don't quite know what to make of it.To be fair to the administration, they've raised the minimum level of exemption from making $8060 a year to a greatly increased $23,660. That's a pretty big jump and it can only help the poor. On the other hand, the bill has made it difficult for people earning over $100K/yr to make overtime. Big deal. I had no idea people making that much money could get overtime. Anyway, just given these rules, it seems like the bill is really an improvement over existing legislation. Where it gets gray is in between. The new law allows certain people to be titled as "professionals" or other exempt positions, freeing businesses from the burdern of paying them more. I remember when I was on an hourly wage, I loved overtime. Now, as a salaried employee, I work well over 40 hrs/wk but don't get any extra official compensation. In the first situation, if I were suddenly denied the overtime I had come to expect, I'd be pretty upset. Basically, I think it now becomes a function of time to see what happens.

Posted by charr at 8:30 AM
Reader Comments

Where I work now, we have two different salaried employees: Salary (which is normal salary with no paid overtime) and Premium Salary (where salaried employees are paid straight hourly wages for overtime for anything over normal hours). I love it, which is why I've been working so much overtime lately.

Posted by Jan at September 3, 2004 1:12 PM

Holy Cow. I didn't know such a thing existed. I'd be making way more than I do now, as I'm sure many others would. There was one week I worked over 80 hours (not that that's unbeatable).

Posted by Cameron at September 3, 2004 1:19 PM

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Last Updated 11/07/03