Statement | Overtime

News from EPI Congress should not delay overtime pay

The middle class is set to get a raise on December 1, when the updated overtime pay rule goes into effect—giving working people more free time, more money in their wallets, or both. But Republicans in Congress want to block that raise.

The overtime rule went through a painstaking rulemaking process that involved extensive legal review and economic research. The Department of Labor received hundreds of thousands of formal comments from Americans who weighed in, asking the Department to update the rules so more employees get overtime pay when they work long hours. There were congressional hearings on the proposed rule and a review of the final rule by the Office of Management and Budget.

Now Rep. Walberg (R-Mich) wants to “delay” the implementation of the rule. He wants to delay lower-middle class workers from either getting a raise or getting to spend more time with their families. This overtime rule will give a real boost to wages—more than a billion dollars each year—to middle class people who must work extra hours and will give businesses and nonprofits a reason to hire more people if the workload is too great. Wages have been stagnant for 35 years. The updated overtime rule is a first step to turn that around and ensure that when workers work hard, they get ahead.  There is no reason to delay.

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